Fondation Tocqueville


The mission and vision of the Tocqueville Foundation are deeply rooted in Alexis de Tocqueville’s seminal contribution to social and political thought and particularly his belief in the fundamental contribution of civil society to democratic and economic development.

  • Mission: The Tocqueville Foundation fosters a dynamic civil society through learning, innovation and engagement by the promotion of strategic philanthropy and social investing, building bridges across borders and generations.
  • Vision: The Tocqueville Foundation promotes a well-developed and effective civil society where individuals, acting together, address common problems and build sustainable social equity for future generations.


The Foundation is devoted to promoting Alexis de Tocqueville's unique vision of democracy and the rights and responsibilities of all members of society. It is has a special focus on France and Europe while nevertheless being global in scope, which is essential in the context of our rapidly changing and inter-connected world. For historical and cultural reasons, private philanthropy in Europe lagged behind other parts of the world. This stems from the expanded role that nation states assumed as providers of public welfare over the past century. Nation states are no longer politically and practically able to solve many social problems so the Foundation encourages private action as a means to address societal issues. At the same time, the Foundation fosters global dialogue to help accelerate the consolidation of strong philanthropy and social investing sectors to promote innovative solutions supporting civil society.


The Foundation is a Franco-American initiative established founded by Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville. It is an international grant making, prize awarding and operating foundation, registered in France under the auspices of the Institut de France. The Foundation is governed by a six-member board: Gabriel de Broglie, Chancelier, Institut de France; Jean-Claude Casanova, Chairman, Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques; Marc Fumaroli, Membre, Académie Française; Augustin de Romanet, CEO, Aéroports de Paris; John Rossant, Executive Chairman, PublicisLive, and Jean Guillaume de Tocqueville, Partner, Gide Loyrette Nouel, and Chairman of the Board of United Way Tocqueville Association France.


The Foundation sponsors two inter-related funding and operational projects. The first focuses on developing future leaders among university students committed to furthering the fundamental assumptions of civil society. The second offers accomplished international business and social leaders the opportunity to share insights and develop cooperative actions to instill the principles of civil society on a global scale.

Academic Initiatives

The Foundation began encouraging the development of courses in 2008 on the management of philanthropic organisation at HEC Paris and École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP), two leading international business schools headquartered in Paris. The French public policy school, Sciences Po and the engineering school, École Centrale Paris, will join this initiative in the winter –spring term of 2014.

The Tocqueville Platform: University Curriculum & Prize

The Foundation is now actively working to expand this base to Europe, North America and beyond through the Tocqueville Platform. The Platform has two complementary parts: a modular curriculum and an inter-university Challenge. The goal is to encourage universities worldwide to provide a ‘best practice’ open source, modular curriculum and pedagogical materials to teach students how to develop and implement their vision of engagement in civil society and how and when to engage in philanthropy and other social initiatives to address global challenges.

The Challenge mobilizes students to address local and global challenges through engagement and innovation in civil society and philanthropy. Prize participants will be selected, primarily, from Tocqueville Platform course participants, who compete nationally between schools with final prize winners chosen at an international level. The Foundation will support this prize in academic year 2013-2014, but will eventually seek corporate and other philanthropic support for the expansion and development of the prize.

Global Dialogue

The Prince’s Roundtable on Philanthropy

The Tocqueville Foundation co-sponsors, with the Fondation Prince Albert II, an annual closed-door forum of leading international philanthropists. The forum takes place in Monaco following the annual World Economic Forum in Davos. The forum helps philanthropists to exchange ideas, share experiences and collaborate in a confidential environment. His Serene Highness Prince Albert II and Chancellor Gabriel de Broglie of the Institut de France have moderated the annual forum since its inauguration in 2011.

Round-tables and Debates

The Foundation commissions task forces, public debates, and academic research to generate knowledge and awareness about the issues facing international philanthropy. The Foundation is currently developing the Tocqueville Foundation Academy Fellows Program that will identify and support university professors making outstanding contributions to civil society.


  • Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation: His Serene Highness, Prince Albert II of Monaco is an active philanthropist and concerned citizen, personally involved in mobilizing support for issues from the environment to humanitarian and cultural. He hosts the annual philanthropy leaders’ round-table with the Institut de France – Fondation Tocqueville.
  • French public authority, the Conseil Général de la Manche: The Foundation has partnered with the Conseil Générale and awarded the renowned Tocqueville Prize of political literature since its inception in 1979. This prize is awarded to distinguished political thinkers from around the world who advocate the values of Alexis de Tocqueville. Prize recipients have included: Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski(2010), Daniel Bell (1999), Francois Furet(1991), Octavo Paz (1989), Sir Karl Popper (1984), David Riesman 1980) and Raymond Aron (1979).
  • United Way International: The Foundation joined with United Way International to form the United Way Tocqueville Association in France in 2008. United Way Tocqueville Association is now an independent not for profit organisation registered in France with its own governing board, executive director, programs, and resources.