Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Daniel Elazar Papers Index

The Idea of Covenant

The Multi-faceted Covenant:

The Biblical Approach to the Problem of Organizations, Constitutions, and Liberty as Reflected in the Thought of Johannes Althusius

Daniel J. Elazar

Two of the most pronounced characteristics of modernity in Western civilization are the radical separation between the individual and the state in order to secure individual liberty, on one hand, or the radical lack of separation to advance some ideological effort to recast human nature, on the other. The former has been most characteristic of civil society in the United States of America, the later, most characteristic of totalitarian society in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, at least until the recent effort to revive civil society in that country. Despite the polar differences that separate them, they also can be seen as two sides of the same coin, as De Tocqueville perceptively and presciently pointed out in Democracy in America.1

Modernity and Non-Governmental Institutions

One of their common aspects is the absence of a truly significant place for non-governmental institutions in their respective founding theories. In totalitarian states, the nominal existence of mediating institutions is simply a facade since they are controlled by the state, or more likely, by the single totalitarian political party that controls the state. The matter is more subtle in the contemporary United States. American tradition and ideology require the maintenance of very independent mediating institutions with real status and function in the civil society. In reality, however, both governmental actions and the exercise of radical individualism have been encroaching on them in a manner that has been ideologically justified as serving the ends of democracy.2

While their position is justified by the ideology of pluralism, the radically individualistic new pluralism embraced by many increasingly undermines the intergenerational dimension that gives mediating much of their authority and power in civil society.3 By the same token, contemporary ideologies emphasizing equality of result have enabled government to encroach upon them in the name of a greater good, further cutting into their authority and power. This is true of churches, universities, professional associations, labor unions, and every other form of public non-governmental association. The very fact that they are now referred to as mediating institutions distorts their original character to indicate that they are somehow to be subordinated to the individual on one hand and to the state, on the other.

Increasingly, such institutions are truly authoritative and powerful in the political-social fabric only in those polities where they are associated with primordial groups, that is to say, groups into which one is born and which are organically part of each individual's identity.5 The importance of primordial group institutions in the political-social fabric of the body politic needs to be recognized by students of politics and society not only in the premodern or modernizing societies of the Third World but in the first and second worlds as well, where a resurgence of primordial group identity, especially in Europe, has been an unexpected development of the past generation.6

The existence of these primordial groups is a reality but theoretically they remain problematic in modern views of civil society, especially those that emphasize individual liberty. Are they, then, merely realities that may have some useful consequences fostering pluralism against a monolithic state? Is there any justification for human communities or collectivities having sufficiently compelling qualities to be endowed with a special status because they continue on an intergenerational basis without necessarily being based on primordial groups? Primordial groups make their own demands on their members which may or may not be consistent with individualism, demands which require recognition of the community or collectivity as a "good" or "end" in itself. Is there a theory that can accommodate both individual and communal liberty as true expressions of liberty as we understand it?

Now that we are in the postmodern epoch and the battles of modernity have been won, we need to reopen these questions for reconsideration in light of the experiences of modernity. We must do so in a hardheaded manner without romanticizing our premodern past or rejecting it out of hand.

What seems to be most characteristic of that premodern past in relation to these questions is that the body politic existed as a seamless web. Civil society, which required the existence of a private sector side by side with the public sector, and in which the public sector is divided into governmental and non-governmental spheres, is, after all, a modern conception. Some people, such as Karl Popper, have argued that as a result, premodern society was essentially totalitarian, modified only by its lack of effective methods to impose conformity.7 To those who hold this view, there is little difference between the ancient polis and the contemporary Communist state other than size. This argument can be refuted with relative ease simply by noting the fact that the polis or its equivalent, the tribe, were total societies but, as such, did not have a separately articulated state. Their norms were those of tradition or traditional religion, internalized by their citizens or members rather than imposed by a separable, all-powerful state.

Where does that leave us, other than to satisfy us that our ancestors were still better off than those who have had to survive (or failed to survive) under twentieth century totalitarian regimes. Still, our ancestors did not have liberty as individuals in the modern sense. What, then, prevented the body politic from imposing upon them in the way the totalitarian state has done in our time. Often, nothing beyond good will. On the other hand, in at least in one tradition, the Biblical tradition, there were built-in limitations that recognized the worth and dignity of the individual and the special status of the community qua community. This paper will consider that tradition as it was developed and applied in the political sphere on the edge of the modern epoch by Johannes Althusius, perhaps the greatest of the Christian political scientists to apply it in the design of a proper commonwealth. But first we shall look briefly at the Biblical tradition itself.

The Theory Presented in the Bible
and its Reformed Protestant Applications

The system presented in the Bible is among those that does try to accommodate the individual in the commonwealth without abandoning the fabric of the commonwealth as a collectivity with its own responsibilities. The basis for this effort is three-fold: first of all, the idea that every individual is created in the image of God, has a soul, and is holy. Second, that it is the task of the individual and the community, indeed the individual in the community, to strive to be holy by observing not only what are today referred to as prescribed religious rituals, but by doing justice, providing for the poor, maintaining human freedom and dignity, and assuring a basic economic floor for every household.

Third, every individual is morally autonomous and his or her consent is required for all acts, even in response to God's commandments. In biblical terminology, God commands but humans hearken. That is to say, they listen to God's commandment and in essence decide whether or not to observe it. Biblical Hebrew has no word for obey. All human actions require hearkening.

Fourth, humans act together through covenants and covenanting, beginning with the foundation of existence, man's covenant with God, whereby God enters into a partnership with humans for the fulfillment and governance of this world. According to the terms of the constitution which He has set before them, all human organization flows from that original covenant and is ordered by the subsidiary covenants to which the parties must consent and which are morally binding under God who serves as partner, guarantor, or witness. All, of course, are based on consent and the ability of the partners to make autonomous moral commitments.8

While we do not know exactly how this biblical system worked in practice in ancient Israel, we can gather some sense of its reality in the way it has shaped the Jewish people who are noted for their commitment to individual autonomy, liberty, and equality, and for their striving to achieve one or another moral end and the tendency to view public issues in moralistic terms even as they are among the most communal, even tribal, of peoples, tied together through a rich fabric of history and destiny.9

The biblical worldview also entered Christianity when that religion emerged out of Judaism, but it did not reach its full flowering until the Protestant Reformation. Reformed Protestants, in particular, not only sought to foster the true faith but to build the holy commonwealth. The road to modern democracy began with the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, particularly among those exponents of Reformed Protestantism (later rather mistakenly referred to as Calvinism) who developed a theology and politics that set the Western world back on the road to popular self-government, emphasizing liberty and equality. In their efforts they turned to what they referred to as the Old Testament -- the Hebrew Bible -- for guidance.

There they rediscovered the biblical teaching and sought to adapt it to their Christian commonwealths.10 We know their principal efforts as milestones in the history of liberty in the Western world, albeit limited or flawed ones -- Zwingli's Zurich, Calvin's Geneva, Knox's Scotland, Cromwell's England, Winthrop's Massachusetts, Williams' Rhode Island, Hutchinson's Connecticut. While several of these have been called theocracies, in fact, they were only in the sense that they recognized God's sovereignty as the basis of the commonwealth and tried to use God's law as its foundation. As in ancient Israel, they divided authority and power among magistrates and ministers, civil and ecclesiastical rulers. (In ancient Israel, as in every Jewish polity, the division was three-fold, between civil rulers, expounders of the Torah, and priests, but that need not concern us here.) The magistrates were as much responsible for maintaining the moral foundations of the community as the ministers.

However limited these regimes were from the perspective of modern democracy, they did advance the cause of republicanism and strengthened the foundations of what later became democratic republicanism. All were established by covenant. In the case of Rhode Island and Connecticut, they were also federal in the more conventional sense of being federations of towns.

Their great limitations were two: Because they were led by militant reformers during the first flush of the Reformation, most insisted on orthodoxy and expelled or persecuted (and on occasion even executed) those whom they deemed heretics. Nor did they leave room for individualism in the more private ways that we understand to be necessary. If the truth be told, those that survived the initial revolutionary period settled down to be bourgoise republics until engulfed by some later revolution or conquest. As such they allowed considerable room for private behavior as long as community norms were publicly honored.

A number of the foregoing figures, particularly Calvin, Knox and Roger Williams and to a lesser extent Zwingli and John Winthrop, developed political theories to accompany their work of governing.11 All however, were primarily theologians. While they and the other original founders and spokesmen for Reformed Protestantism did much political writing, their writing was either theological or polemic in character. Only at the end of the first century of the Reformation did a political philosopher emerge out of the Reformed tradition who built a systematic political philosophy out of the Reformed experience by synthesizing the political experience of the Holy Roman Empire with the political ideas of covenant theology. That man, Johannes Althusius, presented his political philosophy in a classic work, Politica Methodice Digesta, first published in 1603 and revised in final form in 1614. It remained for Althusius, political scientist by his own self-definition, to develop a theory and philosophy of a compound polity that took most of these problems into consideration.

Johannes Althusius and his Politics

Althusius must be considered a figure located at the intersection of the major trends of Western culture. One of the Protestant Christian grand designers, he straddled the Reformation and the opening of the modern epoch. Accordingly, he made an effort to synthesize and somewhat secularize Reformed Protestant thought on the ideal polity and to push it in concrete, practical directions.

Althusius was born in Westphalia, one of the German states, about 1557. He was educated at the universities of Cologne and Basle, where he received his doctorate in civil and ecclesiastical law in 1586. He then received an appointment to the Reformed Academy of Herborn to teach law. There he spent his academic career, becoming rector in 1697. He published his third and most important book, Politica Methodice Digesta while at Herborn. Althusius wrote as a political scientist -- as one who was interested in the theory of the political order, the philosophy behind that theory, and the practical dimension of human behavior that must be addressed and accommodated. Apparently as a result of that book, he was invited to become Syndic of Emden in East Friesland. Knowing the "Geneva of the North", Emden had embraced Reformed Protestantism in 1526, one of the first cities in Germany to do so. With the Netherlands just across the border, it was very influential in educating the leaders of Dutch Calvinism and, as a seaport, maintained close connections with the Reformed Protestants of the British Isles. In a way, it was the fulcrum of northern Calvinism during the time of the Dutch revolt against Spain, the rise of Presbytarianism in Scotland, and the Catholic reaction in England. Althusius served Emden as Syndic from 1604 to his death in 1638. He was elected an elder of the church in 1617 and from then on served in both capacities. He published two enlarged editions of the Politics, in 1610 and 1614.

This paper will not attempt to present a comprehensive summary of Althusian theory, rather it will be directed to outlining the form of civil society in the Althusian view, which itself is derived from Althusius's understanding of Biblical teaching on the subject. While he relied on many classical and contemporary sources as well, first and foremost was Scripture, so much so that for him, the others were merely a means to elucidate biblical teaching. Althusius saw in the Biblical polity, the ideal regime. As he put it:

I more frequently use examples from sacred scripture because it has God or pious men as its author, and because I consider that no polity from the beginning of the world has been more wisely and perfectly constructed than the polity of the Jews. We err, I believe, whenever in similar circumstances we depart from it. (Preface to the 3rd ed. Carney p. 10)

What emerges from the Politics, then, is a biblically-informed theory of the polity and the society it serves, presented in the systematic fashion of Western political philosophy and adapted to the conditions of Western civilization at the juncture between end of the medieval and beginning of the modern epochs. Althusius' Politics was the first book to present a comprehensive theory of federal republicanism rooted in a covenantal view of human society derived from, but not dependent on, a theological system. It presented a theory of polity-building based on the polity as a compound political association established by its citizens through their primary associations on the basis of consent, rather than a reified state, imposed by a ruler or an elite.

Althusius published the last edition of his Politics in 1614; just on the eve of the philosophic revolution of the 17th century. Ironically, his contribution was ignored, if not forgotten, for the next three hundred years; considered only by Otto von Gierke in the 19th century as part of Gierke's effort to revive medieval forms for the development of a modern German political thought and a few other German thinkers.12 Althusius was rediscovered by Carl Friedrich who published a complete Latin edition of the Politics in 1932 with an extensive (if, in my opinion, a somewhat misleading) introduction.13 Frederick Carney prepared his masterfully digested translation of the Politics in English nearly thirty years later.14 His was and remains the first translation of the Politics in any vernacular language.

Althusius was ignored because his philosophy was bounded by the same biblical principles of polity-building that informed Reformed Protestantism and that were rejected by modern statist political thought. In many respects, he was the theoretical godfather of modern federalism but was never recognized as such because of what were deemed archaic elements in the form of his thought. It is doubly ironic, then, that precisely for those reasons which lead him to be rejected by the moderns he becomes useful to us in the postmodern epoch.

Modern political philosophy is based upon a revolution in the theory of natural right which was deemed to be rooted in the natural psychology of humanity and methodological individualism. It is rooted in the liberal principle that the individual is the only atom from which to begin the construction or analysis of civil society. While early modern thought recognized and emphasized that all society is civil society, organized politically from its foundations (in contradistinction to 19th century views of the subjects which sought the "automatic society" that existed independently of political organization), it also emphasizes that civil society's governmental dimension should be limited; indeed as limited as possible.

We postmoderns understand the truth and vital importance of that revolutionary modern idea. But we also understand that while it may be the truth it is not necessarily the whole truth. We may better understand that, while individual liberty is essential for us all, so, too, are the institutions of family and community so that the public institutions of civil society will rest on the proper foundations; not only in the way that they are constituted but in terms of the private dimension in which they serve to function as they are intended to function. The character of the res publica (or commonwealth) depends on the character of the public it serves and just as there can be no res publica without a public so does the character of the res publica rest upon the kind of public within it.

Prior to modernity it was extremely difficult to separate the public and the private within the community. Modernity made it possible for us to separate them. The postmodern epoch must find a way for them to live together. In this, the Biblical approach as developed by Althusius may be of help.

The Res Publica of Althusius

In essence, Althusius emphasized that the greatest safeguards for liberty were to be found in the structuring of the body politic into five permanent associations: two private -- the family and the collegium -- and three public -- the city, the province, and the commonwealth. It was through those permanent structures that individuals were able to function, to be represented, and preserve their liberties. It is important to recognize that Althusius distinguished between public and private associations. That is to say, he provided the basis for civil society without assuming methodological individualism as its underlying premise. The private sphere was real and was protected not by abstract principle alone but by the constitutional authority and political power of the family and the collegium as private institutions. The individual for Althusius (as for the Bible) was a reality because every individual was created in God's image with his or her own soul. But individuals did not stand naked in the face of powerful public institutions, rather, they were protected by being located within families and collegia.

Nor was that deemed sufficient. The public sphere, too, was divided into three arenas, the city, the province, and the commonwealth, each with its own structure that gave each its authority and empowered each to play its role. At first glance this seems to be a variant of the medieval corporalist model and, indeed, some have argued that Althusius was only a modified late medieval corporatist.15 A better case can be made however Althusius developed a different model based on political and social covenants.

Let us be more specific. Althusius' Politics is concerned with ordering and communication, both done through the process of association (consociatio) -- what he terms symbiotics. Symbiotics is the art and science of association. Every proper association has its own vocation or calling which is directly or indirectly established by covenant. A proper politics rests on both piety and justice as reflected in the two tables of the Decalogue, the first of which states the fundamental laws of piety and the second the fundamental laws of justice.

Althusius begins the body of his book by stating:

Politics is the art of associating (consociandi) men for the purpose of establishing, cultivating, and conserving social life among them. Whence it is called "symbiotics." The subject matter of politics is therefore association (consociatio), in which which the symbiotes (those who live together) pledge themselves each to the other, by explicit or tacit agreement, to mutual communication of whatever is useful and necessary for the harmonious exercise of social life.

The end of political "symbiotic" man is holy, just, comfortable, and happy symbiosis, a life lacking nothing either necessary or useful.

Symbiotics and communication are the central elements of his system. Communication for Althusius is the sharing of things, services and right (jus, i.e. right as law). Like all covenantal systems it emphasizes relationships first and foremost, that are secured through their embodiment in proper institutions.

There are two kinds of associations -- simple and private and mixed and public. Among the former are the family and the collegium. The family is a natural association which takes the form of a comprehensive union, while the collegium is a limited civil association. There are two kinds of families based on conjugal and kinship relations. A collegium is any private association in which "three or more men of the same trade, training, or profession are united for the purpose of holding in common such things they jointly profess as duty, way of life or craft". Secular collegia are those composed of magistrates and judges or people engaged in common agricultural, industrial or commercial pursuits. An ecclesiastical collegium is composed of clergymen, philosophers or teachers.

Among the mixed and public associations are the city, the province and the commonwealth, each of which has a civil and an ecclesiastical dimension. While each is autonomous in its own sphere, the commonwealth is the most comprehensive and, as such, is the universal association. There are two forms of universal association -- the res publica or commonwealth and the regnum or realm, with the former preferred. Althusius as a political scientist emphasizes that he deals with the reality of political life; not only with the "ought" as do jurists but with the "is", hence his recognition that there are regna as well as res publica.

In his twofold division, Althusius implicitly recognizes the two dimensions of what he refers to as symbiotics presented in the Bible, namely kinship and consent. As a natural private association, Althusius sees the family as a permanent union of its members "with the same boundaries as life itself". The collegium, on the other hand, as a civil private association, is more voluntary and "need not last as long as the lifetime of man" even though "a certain necessity can be said to have brought it into existence". In these associations there is a balance between necessity and volition. However natural the family may be, it is based upon a tacit or expressed agreement among its members ordering the manner of its communication or sharing of things, services and rights.

However strong its roots in kinship, the continued existence of the family is essentially a confirmation of this tacit or expressed agreement. Althusius realistically recognizes that some families do not continue to exist.

For our purposes here, the critical instrumentality in Althusius' system is the collegium. The primary civil association, it is a body organized by assembled persons according to their own pleasure and will to serve a common utility and necessity in human life." (p. 28) There can be all kinds of collegia with all kinds of purposes. Althusius brings lengthy examples from the history of Israel, Egypt, and ancient Rome.

Althusius holds that it is in the nature of a collegium that its members "agree among themselves by common consent on a manner of ruling and obeying for the utility both of the whole body and of its individuals." (p. 28) The essence of the collegium for Althusius consists of "men united by their own consent" (Dicaelogicae I,8.). Essential to the voluntary character of the collegium is the fact that it is transitory and can be discontinued by being "disbanded honorably and in good faith by the mutual agreement of those who have come together, however much it may have been necessary and useful for social life on another occasion." (p. 28) Since the collegium is outside the family, it is a civil association, albeit a private one. Unlike Bodin who defines all activities outside of the home as the activities of citizenship, Althusius distinguishes membership in the collegium from citizenship, referring to members as "colleagues, associates, or even brothers" (p. 29)

Althusius insists upon a minimum of three people to form a collegium so as to overcome dissension. Althusius cites many biblical examples of collegia, in this case more particularly in the New Testament than in the Old, no doubt because Christianity organized itself on a voluntary basis within an existing civil society, while the Israelites developed as a single comprehensive people or commonwealth. [Examples of this association can be seen in Acts 6:2f.; 12:12; 13:15, 27; 15:21; 28:23, 30f.; Matthew 4; 6:2; 10:24; 13; Exodus 29:42; Numbers 10:10.] Upon this Scriptural base, Althusius builds his discussion of the collegium on Roman law (Carney, p. 29, ftnt 3). Colleagues are equals unless they organize themselves otherwise. Decision-making is by majority rule and decisions pertain "jointly and wholly to the colleagues as a united group, but not in matters separately affecting individual colleagues outside the corporate fellowship." (p. 32) Althusius even requires a quorum of two-thirds of all members to make decisions. "In matters common to all, one by one, or pertaining to colleagues as individuals...even one person is able to object." (p. 32) "The reason is that in this case what is common to everyone is also my private concern." (p. 32) The president, rector, or director of the collegium is elected by the colleagues. He is "superior to the individual colleague but inferior to the united colleages...whose pleasure he must serve...." (p. 29)

Althusius continues, "communication among the colleagues is the activity by which an individual helps his colleague, and so upholds the plan of social life set forth in covenant agreements. "These covenants and laws (pacta et leges) of the colleagues are described in their corporate books.... Such communication pertains to (1) things, (2) services, (3) right and (4) mutual benevolence" communicated by the collegium. (pp. 29-32)

Because the idea of the collegium at first glance resembles guilds common to the medieval city, many assume that it is merely a restatement of medieval cooperatism. This is not the case. Althusius' reform is to emphasize the voluntary, transient, and limited nature of the collegium as distinct from the feudal corporate structure of the guild.

In the case of the collegium, Althusius adds communication of something beyond things, services, and rights -- namely, mutual benevolence, parallel to the biblical concept of hesed (covenant love) or re'ut (neighborliness). Althusius defines mutual benevolence as "that affection and love of individuals toward their colleagues because of which they harmoniously will and 'nil' on behalf of the common utility" (p. 32). He understands that this kind of brotherly love is necessary for the collegium as a moral community of colleagues. For Althusius, as for all proper covenantal thinkers, covenants are not enough. There must also be a covenantal dynamic as symbolized by hesed and re'ut which is "nourished, sustained, and conserved by public banquets, entertainments, and love feasts." (p. 32)

Since the collegium develops from a natural need, it is not completely voluntary and presumably would not be disbanded unless alternate means existed to meet the needs for which it arose in the first place. While it comes into existence through an act of will and covenant it is this relationship to neccesity that makes it more than merely a matter of individual choice. Althusius emphasizes that all five of the associations he describes are rooted in necessity although their existence, form, and means of communication are determined through acts of will and covenant.

Unlike public associations where individual participation is essentially indirect, in the collegium the colleagues can participate directly. Still, they need a leader to administer the affairs of the collegium. That leader is "bound by the purposes for which the collegium exists, and by the laws defined through its corporative processes (Carney, page xxii)".

Public associations are directly constituted by families and collegia, not individuals, with families and collegia constituting cities, cities constituting provinces, and provinces commonwealths. What is critical here is that while public association also exists out of necessity, a public association cannot come into existence or continue to exist without the private associations that constitute it. Again for Althusius this is a matter of reality and not only of right.

There is also another distinction between private and public associations. Public associations are territorial, that is to say they have jurisdiction over specific territory, while private associations are not. Thus the two forms of associations together cover the two principle options for human organization. Private civil associations, in particular, offer means to modify or supplement the territoriality of public associations. Althusius' Latin term for association, consociatio, has been revived in our times as consociationalism to describe institutionalized political power sharing on a non-territorial basis, i.e. a kind of non-territorial federalism. Further than that distinction however, the same general principles of communication and rule apply equally to both forms of association. This is a major departure from medieval Roman law in which public associations were essentially hierarchical and administrative, that is to say, they served an imperial power pyramid. Althusius makes public associations symbiotic i.e. covenantal, of the same general genus as private associations. Basing both on the same sources of legitimacy and modes of operation is a major federal element in Althusian thought.

There are two forms of public association -- particular and universal. In the full-fledged commonwealth, the city and the province are particular forms of association while the res publica or regnum is universal. Sovereignty, which Althusius clearly vests in the people (see below) is vested in the people of the universal public association which, in a sense, is what distinguishes it as universal. In that sense, the question of the locus of popular sovereignty determines what is universal and what is particular rather than the other way around. Althusius recognizes that city/states like Venice are universal associations since they have commonwealth status. In a sense this unstated reversal is part of a further inconsistency in the status of provinces. The realistic political scientist looking at the Holy Roman Empire of Althusius' time had to take note of its formally feudal structure, whereby Princes, Dukes, Counts or other nobility who ruled provinces were at least nominally subsidiary to the Holy Roman Emperor, the Supreme Magistrate, rather than chosen by the citizenry, thus partly compromising the symbiotic foundations of provincial rule.

All three public associations are governed through a system of separation of powers, with a Senate or similar body representing the people through representatives from their private associations and a chief executive who presides over the communication of things, services and rights. The task of the Senate is to establish, defend and if necessary modify the fundamental laws of the public association. Under certain circumstances it may even remove the chief executive.

Critical in the rule of every public association are the ecclesiastical, civil and private associations -- what we today refer to as mediating institutions that provide the basis for representation in the public associations. Ecclesiastical associations are not only concerned with piety in the traditional sense but also with public education in both religion and the liberal arts.

Constitutional Design or the Rules of Order

Althusius emphasizes that one of the principal rights of a commonwealth is the communication of rights by the citizens among themselves. The basis for this communication of rights is embodied in the jus commune, here the common right, fundamental law or constitution of an association. Althusius uses the term jus commune in two senses: as referring to God's divine constitution, the unchanging moral law binding upon all people and their associations (on this larger constitutional meaning see Chapters 21 and 22); and also more narrowly to refer to the constitutional foundations of particular associations .

Voluntary associations may establish their own statutes in the framework of public law and in harmony with their jus commune which is customarily written in the association's records. The constitution is best established by the common consent of the colleagues or citizens but (in an allowance for late medieval reality) it may be granted to them as a special privilege by a superior magistrate. Althusius does not distinguish between covenants and constitutions, treating every constitution as a covenant and using the terms almost interchangeably as in his discussion of the "covenant or constitution by which the supreme magistrate is constituted by the Ephors with the consent of the associated bodies..." (p. 118).

Althusius discusses the more comprehensive jus commune in his chapters on political prudence. The constitutional ordering of rules, then, is an act of political prudence.

"The rule of living, obeying, and administering is the will of God alone, which is the way of life, and the law of things to be done and to be omitted. It is necessary that the magistrate rule, appoint, and examine all the business of his administration with this law as a touchstone and measure, unless he wishes to rule the ship of state as an unreliable vessel at sea, and to wander about and move at random. Thus administration and government of a commonwealth is nothing other than the execution of law. Therefore, this law alone prescribes not only the order of administering for the magistrate, but also the rule of living for all subjects...." (p. 134)

" in the general sense is a precept for doing those things that pertain to living a pious, holy, just, and suitable life. That is to say, it pertains to the duties that are to be performed toward God and one's neighbor, and to the love of God and one's neighbor...." "...laws or rights in human society are as fences, walls, guards, or boundaries of our life, guiding us along the appointed way for achieving wisdom, happiness, and peace in human society." (p. 134)

Basing his discussion on biblical sources (particularly Romans I:19 and II:14f), Althusius sees the jus commune as "naturally implanted by God in all men." (p. 134) At that level, "this jus commune is set forth for all men nothing other than the general theory and practice of love, both for God and for one's neighbor." (p. 135) Althusius soon moves beyond that because he notes that this law is "not inscribed equally on the hearts of all. The knowledge of it is communicated more abundantly to some and more sparingly to others..." (p. 135).

The next step is the writing down of this constitutional law in the Decalogue. Its first table deals with love of God and piety and the second, love of man and civil or political life. Althusius refers to the Ten Commandments as "mandates and precepts" but indicates that in the Bible they are referred to as "judgements, statutes, and witnesses." His analysis of each of the commandments sets forth what he understands to be the general constitution of all humanity. As he says, "the Decalogue has been prescribed for all people to the extent that it agrees with and explains the common law of nature for all peoples" (p. 139).

"Proper law (lex propria) is the law that is drawn up and established by the magistrate on the basis of common law (lex communis) Althusius uses jus and lex interchangeably in this particular discussion] and according to the nature, utility, condition and other special circumstances of his country. It indicates the peculiar way, means, and manner by which this natural equity among men can be upheld, observed, and cultivated in any given commonwealth." (p. 139) Lex propria has two parts: that which is in agreement with the jus commune, (convenientia), and that which is different from it (discrepantia).

He then turns to focus more explicitly on Jewish proper law which is divided into ceremonial law and forensic or civil law, the first designed to aid in the observance of the first table of the Decalogue and the second designed to make possible the maintenance of the second. With regard to the ceremonial law, he follows the Orthodox Christian view. It leads to Christ and should now be viewed through the teachings of Jesus. With regard to the civil law, however, "it follows that the magistrate is obligated in the administration of the commonwealth to the proper law of Moses so far as moral equity or common law are expressed therein." (p. 143) At the same time, the proper law of Moses which is not so directed should not be compulsory in a Christian commonwealth.

Every institution in the commonwealth needs to have its rules established by consent of its citizens or members and written down. In other words, they must be in covenantal form and in harmony with God's original covenant with ancient Israel as embodied in the Decalogue. As a covenant, the constitution is a reciprocal contract, binding all parties to it whether equals or unequals, that is to say, rulers and ruled, and granting powers as determined by the body of the association. Such a covenant-constitution is designed to prevent any exercise of absolute power within the association. Althusius makes it clear that " established for the utility of those who are ruled, not of those who rule, and the utility of the people...does not in the least require unlimited power." (p. 117) Althusius is very strong on the point that "absolute power is wicked and prohibitive...even almighty God is said not to be able to do what is evil and contrary to His nature." (p. 117)

This brief, structurally oriented description of Althusius' system does not do it justice. Critical to understanding how this structure is to work is Althusius' emphasis on communication as the sharing of things, services and right. Institutions exist as means to order and foster communication or sharing in a situtation where consent is the foundation of the commonwealth. Althusius is resolutely opposed to tyranny in part because it is unjust and in part because he sees it as ineffective.

As a result of his emphasis on covenant and communication, Althusius has essentially rejected the reified state and with it, statism. His idea of vesting sovereignty in the people through their associations counters the argument of Jean Bodin that there must be a single point in which sovereignty is concentrated; in Althusius' time, the monarch and, later, the reified state. In this Althusius is a precursor of the solution devised by the founders of the United States to resolve the problem of sovereignty by vesting it in the people.16 The American founders had an easier time of it because of the more homogeneous character of the people to whom they addressed their solution. In the more complex and heterogeneous society of German Holy Roman Empire, the Althusian idea of vesting sovereignty in the people through their associations offered a role to both soften the impact of the "state" and to preserve the diverse primordial and civil ties that characterize European society.

In all this Althusius has provided a proper application of the biblical model. For the Bible, only God is ultimately sovereign. Politically, however, sovereignty is vested with the people, who possess operational sovereignty within the framework of God's constitution. For the Bible, that constitution is the Torah; for Althusius, it is the Decalogue. Thus, the two expressions of sovereignty come together in a constitutional document that, barring direct Heavenly intervention, becomes the actual source of authority, which can be modified by the people within the limits imposed by the laws of piety and justice represented by the two tables of the Decalogue. This constitutional document and the network of associations, symbiotic relationships and communication of things, services, and right/law are in a sense the best protection against tyranny and for what we would today call human rights.

What of the matter of rights? For both the Bible and Althusius, the question of rights is derived essentially from the question of justice and the human obligation of God to act justly. Politics is symbiotics in communication. It provides the framework and the means to act justly and to do justice. Thus the fundamental associations of political community -- public and private, civil and natural -- are media for doing justice.

Beyond that, each form of association forms a particular kind of moral community within which justice is to be achieved and right or rights protected in a different way. One of the principal lessons of Althusius' teaching for us today is that humans are organized in different moral communities, and right or rights with regard to each must be treated in a manner appropriate to it.

The modern worldview, by emphasizing the individual standing naked against civil society as represented by government, has increasingly come to emphasize the legal enforcement of legally defined rights. Originally applied to government alone, this approach to rights has been extended to other forms of civil associations and even more recently to natural associations, public and private, because of that oversimple and limited perception of the political relationship underlying civil society, what constitutes rights, and how they are to be enforced.

In a just society, there must be an appropriate conceptualization of right and rights for relationships within each different kind of moral community with appropriate means of enforcement. In ancient and medieval society, much justice was promised without sufficient means of enforcement. Modern political thought successfully attacked that problem by providing means of enforcement but, in the process, rejected a more complex view of what constitutes justice or right, a view based upon an understanding of the different forms of association in which humans are involved, recognizing the fact that all such associations being established on the basis of covenant includes the dimensions of justice and right and establishes or systematizes relationships upon which appropriate theories of rights and rights enforcement can be based.

Trained in theology and jurisprudence, Althusius became a political scientist and indeed makes a strong argument that politics is the equal of the first two disciplines. In his Preface to the first edition, Althusius goes into a long discussion of the relationship between political science, theology, and jurisprudence, and the separation between them, summarizing the task of the political scientist as follows:

A political scientist properly teaches what are the sources of sovereignty and enquires to determine what may be essential for the constituting of a commonwealth. The jurist, on the other hand, properly treats of the right (jus or law) that arises at certain times from these sources of sovereignty in the contract entered into between the people and the prince. Both therefore discuss the rights of sovereignty, the political scientist concerning the fact of them and the jurist concerning the right of them.

While couched in the language of the sixteenth century, the distinction is not foreign to us. In the Preface to the Third Edition, Althusius elaborates on this by elaborating on the relationship between political science and theology through his emphasis on the role of the Decalogue.

Polity and Political Economy

Althusius' polity is one that is built from the beginning on a political economy since so many of the civil private associations that he has in mind are basically occupational in character. Nevertheless, he does separate politics and economics (pp. 26-27).

So therefore economics and politics differ greatly as the subject and end. The subject of the former is the good of the family; its end is the acquisition of whatever is necessary for food and clothing. The subject of the latter, namely politics, is pious and just symbiosis; its end is the governing and preserving of association and symbiotic life.

In posing this definition it should be noted that Althusius deliberately rejects the notion that economics is exclusively private and politics exclusively public. At least with regard to politics, it is also private. The linkage of the two is to be found in the fact that symbiotic communication or sharing involves things or goods, services and rights or lawful structures (pp. 14 passim).

Throughout each of the five arenas of association, the civil private association is usually an economic association of one kind or another which nevertheless requires political order within it as well as to be part of the political order of the three public associations. In the relationship between the public associations and the economy, a city has responsibility both for regulating economic life and for providing the public infrastructure necessary for economic life (pp. 42-43). The province has the responsibility for the support of commercial activity and the care of the public good of the province (p. 48) and also to the education and training of "merchants, farmers, and workmen who are skilled, industrious and distinguished" (p. 56).

The commonwealth, following the fifth commandment, is charged with the responsibility of protecting the system's goods, their use and ownership (p. 76). Althusius understands this as involving not only a citizen's goods, but also his safety and good name, all of which are viewed as property not to be stolen (p. 75). The commonwealth is also charged with the regulation of commerce and contracts, and is responsible for providing an adequate system of coinage (pp. 79-80). In this respect, the commonwealth is charged with overseeing the means necessary for procuring advantages for social life (pp. 170 passim).

While Althusius does not directly concern himself with what we today define as the problem of individual rights, as in the Bible, individuals are recognized in his system by their uniqueness, godliness, and individual moral responsibility. Government, for Althusius, as for the Bible, is concerned primarily with justice, though the question is left open as to how much it is concerned with holiness or morality. If we can summarize Biblical and Althusian thought on the matter, public associations must give due recognition to piety, holiness and morality, but should go easy on efforts to do more than be exhortative in those spheres. In other words, they should make clear what the standards are but should limit their role as God's policemen. Liberty is protected by the rejection of the reified state and statism, and the emphasis in its place on the compound of associations, the separation of powers, and on right procedures.

Modern federalism, invented by the United States, operates essentially on a Madisonian model which, although itself derived from a variety of sources, draws its conception of civil society from Lockean individualism. Hence Madisonian federalism is based on the idea that polities are comprised first and foremost of individuals who combine themselves into peoples out of choice, establishing political institutions in the process by means of political covenants and constitutions. While the Madisonian model has much to teach all those embarked on federal experiments, particularly with regard to how a polity should be modeled in the first place as a matrix of substantially independent cells linked through a common communications network rather than as a power pyramid or a polity with a power center and periphery, it has its limits in addressing federal experiments built upon pre-existing states, nationalities, or other primordial groups with strong identities. Indeed, it is the persistence of those primordial groups which contributed mightily to the failure of the modern state system invented in Europe in the seventeenth century that pushed Althusian ideas out of sight. The modern state system was to be centralized because each state was to be a nation-state, a state of a single nation. Unfortunately for the theory, the reality was such that the primordial groups refused to disappear, often in the face of the most extraordinary pressures directed against them by the state builders.

The collapse of the old state system has reawakened popular ties to those groups throughout Europe as well as the rest of the world. Hence, they too must be considered in developing federal responses to current political problems. The European Community is a case-in-point. With all of Europe's new concern for the individual and his or her rights, Europeans do not come to polity-building culturally naked. They have recognized that any successful political solution for Europe needs to be built on a more complex model than that of the United States. Such a model may indeed be available for them in the federal theory of Althusius, precisely because he was one of those on the eve of the modern epoch who tried to foster federal as distinct from statist solutions on the Continent.

The Althusian model directly addresses the complexities of the multi-national situations, taking into consideration families and primordial groups as well as formal political institutions, corporations as well as territorial units. In his Politics, he methodically constructs a compound republic or federal system that is both territorial and consociational. Moreover it is one that can accommodate four or five arenas of territorial governance instead of two or three, the accepted number in modern federations. For example, at least three of the EC member states, Belgium, Germany, and Spain, are themselves federations and other are decentralized unions with three (or four) arenas of governance. For them the European community is a fourth (or a fifth).

Althusius had the misfortune of publishing his great work at the very beginning of the seventeenth century, just at the time when his compatriots were turning towards statism. In the ensuing struggle over the direction of European state-building in the seventeenth century, the Althusian view which called for building of states on federal principles, as compound political associations, lost to the view of Jean Bodin and the statists who called for the establishment of reified centralized states where all powers were lodged in a divinely-ordained king at the top of the power pyramid or in a sovereign center. While Althusian thought had its exponents until the latter part of the century, after that it subsequently disappeared. It remained for the Americans to invent modern federalism on the basis of modern individualism and thus reintroduce the idea of the state as a political association rather than a reified entity.

In the nineteenth century, one party of German thinkers seeking the unification of Germany on federal principles and led by Otto von Gierke, rediscovered Althusius. There, too, however, Germany's movement toward reified statehood and finally totalitarianism left Althusian ideas out in the cold.

Althusian ideas remained peripheral even to students of modern federalism since modern federalism, was so strongly connected with the principle of individualism that there was no need to consider the Althusian effort to deal with the problems of family, occupation, and community along with individual rights in establishing political order. Only recently, as we have come to see the limits of unrestrained individualism, both philosophically and practically, have political scientists begun to explore problems of liberty in relation to primordial groups -- families, ethnic communities and the like. Here it was discovered that Althusius had much to offer contemporary society.

Martin Buber was perhaps the first to suggest how Althusian ideas could serve twentieth century man, in part basing his political works on Althusius. At the very beginning of his classic study of the Israeli kibbutz as a model for the reconstruction of society along cooperative lines, Buber described the proper social order as a consociatio consociationum, deliberately selecting Althusius' formulation as the starting point from which to develop his own realistic utopia.17

Carl Friedrich, the great academic exponent of German liberalism, revived academic interest in Althusius with his publication of the Politics in its Latin version with an extensive introduction. More recently, various scholars such as Frederick Carney, Patrick Reilly, and Thomas Heuglin have explored Althusius' ideas. In his native Germany there has been a renewed interest in Althusian ideas as a foundation for German federal democracy.

In Yugoslavia, Althusian influence has been a powerful counterweight to Communism as the basis for introducing a measure of republican liberty. In 1973, I interviewed Professor Jovan Djordjevic, the doyen of Yugoslav political scientists, a close associate of Marshall Tito, and author of the various Yugoslav and republic constitutions during the first three decades of the present Yugoslav regime. In our discussion, Professor Djordjevic indicated how much the construction of that regime had been influenced by Althusian ideas and models.18

Somewhere between Buber's utopian vision and the effort to concretize Althusian models in Yugoslavia is the theory of consociationalism developed by Arend Lipjhart, Gerhard Lembruch, and others.19 Borrowing that distinctively Althusian term, the consociational theorists attempted to explain what is in effect a non-territorial federal division of powers that constitutes a democratic alternative to either Jacobin or majoritarian democracy and to demonstrate how that model has been applied in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Israel, among others. Studies of consociational democracy in action have repeatedly demonstrated that consociational arrangements work best and are longest-lived where they are combined with territorial federalism, in other words where both dimensions of the Althusian solution grand design are present.20

A Summing Up

There is some dispute among scholars regarding the relationship between Althusius and federalism. Otto von Gierke, the first scholar to try to restore Althusius to his rightful place in the history of political thought, saw him as essentially a medievalist, seeking to reconstruct medieval corporatism for a post-medieval and changing time. Carl Friedrich, on the other hand, the most important figure in the twentieth century Althusian revival, viewed Althusius as the forerunner of modern federalism. Today, Patrick Reilly and to some extent Thomas Heuglin follow the Gierkian approach, while Frederick Carney and this writer follow that of Friedrich.21

I would suggest that it is necessary to look to Althusius not only in historical perspective as a transitional figure from medieval corporatism to modern federalism, but as a source of ideas and models for a post-modern federalism. Pre-modern federalism had a strong tribal or corporatist foundation, one in which individuals were inevitably defined as members of permanent, multi- generational groups and whose rights and obligations derived entirely or principally from group membership. Modern federalism broke away from this model to emphasize polities built strictly or principally on the basis of individuals and their rights, allowing little or no space for recognition or legitimation of intergenerational groups.

A post-modern federalism must reckon with one of the basic principles of post-modern politics, namely that individuals are to be secured in their individual rights, yet groups are also to be recognized as real, legitimate, and requiring an appropriate status. Althusius is the first, and one of the few political philosophers who has attempted to provide for this synthesis. Needless to say, his late-medieval thought cannot be transposed whole into the post-modern epoch in the latter part of the twentieth century. But in part because he wrote in a period of epochal transition from the late-medieval to the modern epoch, much of his system, its ideas, and even its terminology, may be adaptable or at least form the basis for a post-modern federalism.

Here we can only outline some of the salient points in Althusius' thought.

1) The foundations of Althusius' political philosophy are covenantal through and through. Pactum is the only basis for legitimate political organization. More than that, Althusius develops a covenantal-federal basis that is comprehensive. Not only is the universal association constructed as a federation of communities, but politics as such is federal through and through, based as it is on union and communication (in the sense of sharing) as expressed in the idea that its members are symbiotes.

Althusius' dual emphasis on federalism as a relationship and on sharing as the basis of federal relationships has turned out to be a basic axiom of federalism. While there can be different forms of a federal relationship and sharing can be expressed in different ways, federalism remains essentially a relationship and sharing its guiding principle. The polity, then, is a symbiotic association based upon symbiosis and constituted by symbiotes.

2) Althusius deals with the problem of sovereignty, then becoming the critical juridical problem for modern state-building, by vesting it in the people as a whole. On one hand this is what makes the good polity a res publica or commonwealth. On the other it also makes it possible to be a consociatio consociationum, a universitas composed of collegia, since the people can delegate the exercise of sovereign power to different bodies as they please (according to their sovereign will).

The problem of indivisible sovereignty raised by Jean Bodin became the rock upon which pre-modern federalism foundered. The modern state system was based on the principle of indivisible sovereignty which in an age of increasingly monolithic and energetic states became a sin qua non for political existence. Thus the medieval world of states based on shared sovereignty had to give way. It was not until the American founders invented modern federalism that a practical solution to this problem was found enabling the development of modern federation as a form of government. Althusius provided the theoretical basis for dealing with the sovereignty question over 175 years earlier (no doubt unbeknownst to them) and gave it the necessary philosophic grounding.

Althusius further understands political sovereignty as the constituent power. This is at once a narrower, more republican definition of sovereignty whose plenary character is harnessed as the power to constitute government -- a power which is vested in the organic body of the commonwealth, i.e., the people. Moreover, once the people act, the sovereignty is located in the jus regni, the fundamental right/law of the realm or the constitution.

This Althusian concept has important implications in contemporary international law which is grappling with the problem of how to mitigate the effects of the principle of absolute and undivided sovereignty inherited from modern jurisprudence in an increasingly interdependent world. Even where the principle is not challenged, the practical exercise of absolute sovereignty is not longer possible. There are an increasing number of situations in which even the principle cannot be applied as it was. One way out in such cases has been to vest sovereignty in the constitutional document itself, that is to say, in what Althusius would refer to as the jus regni. Vesting sovereignty in a constitutional document is entirely consonant with a covenantal federalism.

3) Althusius serves as a bridge between the biblical foundations of Western civilization and modern political ideas and institutions. As such he translates the biblical political tradition into useful modern forms. In this he must be contrasted with Spinoza who a few years later in his Theological Political Tractate makes the case for a new modern political science by presumably demonstrating that biblical political ideas applied only to ancient Israel and ceased to be relevant once the Jews lost their state (unless and until the Jews were restored). Althusius confronts the same problems of modern politics without jettisoning or denying the biblical foundations. In part this rendered him less useful during the modern epoch when his unbending Calvinist emphasis on the necessary links between religion, state and society in the form of twinned civil and ecclesistical jurisdictions fell afoul of the development of the modern secular state.

The Althusian version of the Calvinist model of the religiously homogeneous polity is not likely to be revived in the post-modern epoch. Nevertheless, we are beginning to recover an old understanding that no civil society can exist without some basis in transcendent norms which obligate and bind the citizens and establish the necessary basis for trust and communication. The connection between the Decalogue and jus as both law and right, while hardly original to Althusius, may offer possibilities for renewed development in our times. Althusius adopts a conventional understanding of the two tables of the Decalogue of his time, namely that the first table addresses itself to piety and the second to justice, both of which are necessary foundations for civil society.

4) Very important in this connection is Althusius' development of the concept of jus regni, which he derives explicitly from the biblical mishpat hamelukhah (law of the kingdom), enunciated in I Samuel 10, to serve as constitution of the universal association, at one and the same time establishing the constitution as a civil rather than a religious document, yet one which has its source in or at least is in harmony with divine and natural law.22 While contemporary political scientists emphasize the secular character of modern constitutionalism, examination of most contemporary constitutions reveals that they reflect the same combination of claims, namely linkage to transcendent law, more often divine than natural, yet human artifacts that are civil in character. While in recent years we have made considerable advances in developing an understanding of constitutional design, in doing so we have neglected this linkage and its implications for right law that Althusius calls to our attention.

5) While Althusius was clearly a product of his times and the ideal state of his design is one which reflects the class and reference group structure of sixteenth century German society, it is significant that Althusius leaves open the possibility for democracy as we know it, including female participation in public life and office-holding, and a more classless and egalitarian basis for participation generally. Since I do not have a sufficient command of the Latin text to properly explore the issue, I cannot say whether Althusius has an esoteric as well as an exoteric teaching, but this suggests that there may be a hidden dimension to be explored in the Politics and Althusian thought generally. Nor is the federal aspect insignificant here. Althusius suggests different forms and extents of participation in the different arenas of government as one possible way to extend participation in public life to groups heretofore disenfranchised in the world that he knew.

A contemporary Althusian politics should address itself to the same possibilities; for example, somewhat indirect democracy for international institutions and republican or representative government for what Althusius would have called provincial and we would call state, land, or cantonal institutions, and for the universal association or general government.

6) Althusius recognizes the modern distinction between public and private realms, yet also preserves the connection between them. In this respect, he, like the moderns who were to follow him, breaks with classic notions of the all-embracing polis to recognize the legitimacy of a sphere of private activity that exists constitutionally by right, thereby preventing totalitarianism. Yet he recognizes the connection between the simple and private dissociations of family and collegium and the mixed and public associations of city, province and commonwealth. Indeed the relationship between private and public spheres and associations is a major concern of his as it is increasingly to those of us who must reckon with the realities of the post-modern epoch in which everything is tied into everything else, like it or not.

One of the advantages of the modern epoch was that it was possible to more sharply separate the public and private spheres because the modern epoch was one in which increased distance between them was possible. Since this is no longer the case, the new commonwealth requires more Althusian communication, that is to say, as everything impinges upon everything else, more sharing is necessary. Althusius' emphasis on the existence of both natural and civil associations in the private sphere reflects his emphasis on what we would call the natural right of association. The family is a natural association based on two relationships: conjugal and kinship. Since the nuclear family is a conjugal relationship, even it is covenantal. The collegium or civil association in both its secular and ecclesiastical forms is covenantal.

Mixed and public associations are equally covenantal: the city is a covenantal republic formed of a union of collegia, the province a covenantal union of cities, and the commonwealth a covenantal union of provinces (this is so even though Althusius talks of the rights of the province as an arm of the commonwealth and not simply a union of cities). Covenants for Althusius are the ways in which symbiotes can initiate and maintain associations. They are products of both necessity and volition.

7) Althusius' definition of politics as the effective ordering of communication (of things, services and rights) offers us a starting point for understanding political phenomena that speaks to contemporary political science. This leads us to the second half of Althusian thought: that dealing with statesmanship, prudence and administration. It would be possible to say that the second half of Althusian teaching is general to all of politics and not specifically to federalism, except that this would do violence to the first half of Althusian teaching which sees all politics as federal politics in the broadest sense.

It should be clear that Althusius directly addresses the issues that surround the relationship between collective organization and individual liberty and the role of rules or constitutions in constituting and constraining collective organizations and constraining and protecting individual liberty. First of all, in the manner of contemporary public choice theorists, Althusius reduces the distinctions between private and public associations to those of function and scope rather than essence (essentially following the biblical view of the matter). For Althusius, following the biblical model, the constituting rules governing collective organizations and the relations among them are embodied in covenants, which also serve to ground liberty in the rules themselves. Covenants are made among the symbiotes to initiate and maintain all associations. Universal association is further served by the jus regni as its constitution. The jus regni is explicitly derived from the biblical mishpat hamelukhah and indeed is a translation of that term. For Althusius, as for the Bible, the jus regni is the civil constitutional law derived from the Decalogue.


1. Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, edited by J.P. Mayer and Max Lerner, translated by George Lawrence (New York: Harper and Row, 1966, pp. 666-669).

2. Michael Novak, ed., Democracy and Mediating Structures: A Theological Inquiry (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1980).

3. Daniel J. Elazar, The American Constitutional Tradition (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1988, chap. "Pluralism, Federalism, and Liberty", pp. 39-53).

4. Michael Novak, Democracy and Mediating Structures. 5. Ellsworth Huntington, The Mainsprings of Civilization (New York: Mentor, 1972); Clifford Geertz, Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973).

6. On ethnic reassertion in Europe, see: Michael Burgess, ed, Federalism and Federation in Western Europe (London: Croom Helm, 1986); Murray Forsyth, ed., Federalism and Nationalism (Leicester; Leicester University Press, 1989); and Hugh Seton-Watson, Nations and States (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1977).

7. Karl Raimund Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies 5th ed., (London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1969).

8. On the federal dimension of the biblical world view see, one of the best available sources is Martin Buber, Kingship of God (New York: Harper and Row, 1967). This writer has treated the subject in "Government in Biblical Israel," Tradition (Spring-Summer, 1973) and in "Covenant as the Basis of the Basis of the Jewish Political Tradition," Jewish Journal of Sociology (June, 1978). See also Daniel J. Elazar, Kinship and Consent: The Jewish Political Tradition and its Contemporary Manifestations (Lanham, MD: University Press of America and Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 1983); Daniel J. Elazar and Stuart A. Cohen, The Jewish Polity (Bloomington, Ind: Indiana University Press, 1984); Daniel J. Elazar and John Kincaid, eds. Covenant, Polity, and Constitutionalism (Lanham, MD: University Press of America and the Center for the Study of Federalism, 1984).

9. On Jews and politics, see: Daniel J. Elazar, People and Polity (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989), esp. Chap. 1; "Kinship and Consent in the Jewish Community: Patterns of Continuity in Jewish Communal Life," Tradition Vol. 14, no. 4 (Fall 1974) pp. 63-79; and "Covenant as the Basis of the Jewish Political Tradition", op cit.

10. On the biblical roots of Reformed Protestanism, see: Daniel J. Elazar and John C. Kincaid, The Covenant Connection: Federal Theology and the Origins of Modern Politics, Center for the Study of Federalism/ University Press of America, forthcoming; Perry Miller, The New England Mind (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1967); R.H. Murray, The Political Consequences of the Reformation (New York: Russell and Russell, 1960).

11. See, for example, John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 2 vols. A new translation by Henry Beveridge. (London: J. Clarke, 1953); Robert McCune Kingdon, ed., Calvin and Calvinism: Sources of Democracy? (Lexington, Mass.: Heath, 1970); George Laird Hunt, ed., Calvinism and the Political Order. Essays prepared for the Woodrow Wilson Lecturship of the National Presbyterian Center. (Philadelphia, Pa.: Westminster Pres, 1965).

John Knox, The History of the Reformation of Religion in Scotland. Introd. and notes by William McGavin (Glasgow: Blackie, Fullarton, 1831).

Roger Williams, Experiments of Spiritual Life.... (London, 1652; repr. Providence, S.S. Rider, 1863); Perry Miller, Roger Williams, His Contribution to The American Tradition (New York: Atheneum, 1970); Edmund Sears Morgan, Roger Williams, The Church and the State (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1967).

John Winthrop, Winthrop's Journal "History of New England" 1630-1649, edited by James Kendall Hosmer (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1953); Darret Bruce Rutman, John Winthrop's Decision for America (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1975); and his other work Winthrop's Boston - Portrait of a Puritan Town, 1630-1649. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965).

On Ulrich Zwingli, see Rupert Eric Davies, The Problem of Authority in the Continental Reformers; A Study in Luther, Zwingli and Calvin (London: Epworth Press, 1946).

12. Otto von Gierke, Johnnes Althusius und die Entwicklund der naturrechtlichen Staatstheorem, published in translation as The Development of Political Theory in 1939, and Political Theories of the Middle Ages, translated with an Introduction by F. W. Maitland (Cambridge, England: The University Press, 1900: reprinted 1968).

13. Carl J. Friederick, ed. The Politica Methodice Digesta of Johannes Althusius (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1932).

14. The Politics of Johnnes Althusius, abridged and translated by Frederick S. Carney (Boston: Beacon Press, 1964).

15. Cf. Patrick Reilly, "Three 17th Century German Theorists of Federalism: Althusius, Hugo and Leibniz," in a special issue of Publius: The Journal of Federalism, edited by David L. Schaefer, Vol. 5, no. 3 (Summer 1976).

16. Cf. Donald Lutz and Jack D. Warden, A Covenanted People: The Religious Traditions and the Origins of American Constitutionalism (Providence: John Carter Brown Library, 1987); See also Daniel J. Elazar, The American Constitutional Tradition

17. Martin Buber, Paths in Utopia (Boston: Beacon Press, 1958); Bernard Susser, "The Anarcho-Federalism of Martin Buber," Publius 9 No. 4, pp. 103-116.

18. See also Jovan Djordjevic, "Remarks on the Yugloslav Model of Federalism," Publius 5 No. 2 (Spring 1975) pp. 77-78.

19. Arend Liphart, "Consociational Democracy", in World Politics 21 (1968/69) pp. 208-225.

20. See Federalism and Consocialism, a special issue of Publius 15 No. 2 (Spring 1985).

21. Cf. Daniel J. Elazar, ed., Federalism as Grand Design (Lanham, MD: Center for the Study of Federalism and University Press of America, 1987).

22. On mishpat hamlukhah, "King, Kinship: The Covenant of Monarchy," Enclopaedia Judaica Vol. 10 (Jerusalem: Keter, 1972) pp. 1019; also see: Daniel J. Elazar and Stuart A. Cohen, The Jewish Polity: Jewish Political Organization from Biblical Times to the Present (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1985) Part I Epoch IV.

Elazar Papers Index / JCPA Home Page / Top of Page