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'(I've Never Met) a Nice South African'

Virtuous Citizenship and Popular Sovereignty

Lawrence Hamilton

What is virtuous citizenship? Is it possible to be a virtuous citizen whatever the form of one's state? Is it possible to be a virtuous citizen in the new South Africa? In this article I defend some Republican ideas on civic virtue and popular sovereignty, especially as found in the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, to suggest that popular sovereignty is a necessary condition for active and virtuous citizenship. For it is only under conditions of popular sovereignty that the right kind of political agency is possible. I discuss these ideas in the context of modern constitutional democracies, and argue that constitutional democracy in South Africa is not an instance of popular sovereignty and thus does not provide the possibility for virtuous citizenship. I end the article with a proposal for addressing these deficiencies: effective citizen control over the constitution by means of a decennial plebiscite—a carnival of citizenship.

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Pasi Ihalainen

This paper suggests that the study of the modernisation of European political cultures in the eighteenth century would greatly benefit from a comparative conceptual historical approach. is approach would effect the reconstruction of a variety of meanings attached to chosen political concepts in different national contexts through the side-by-side analysis of primary sources originating from each case according to the methodology of both historical semantics and pragmatics. A promising research topic is the continuity and change in the conceptualisation of national community, national identity, popular sovereignty and democracy in various European political cultures. e conceptual analyses of late eighteenth-century political sermons from five northwestern European countries, conducted by the author, for example, reveal that conceptual changes related to the rise of nationalism took place even within public religion, allowing it to adapt itself to the age of nationalism. Further analysis of the secular debates taking place in representative bodies and public discourse in late eighteenth-century Britain, the Dutch Republic and Sweden elucidates the gradual development of the notion that all political power is ultimately derived from the people and that such a system constituted a "democracy" in a positive sense within different parliamentary traditions and perhaps even before the French Revolution.

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Conjuring “the people”

The 2013 Babylution protests and desire for political transformation in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina

Larisa Kurtović

resurgence of scholarly interest in populism and popular sovereignty (e.g., Kalyvas 2005 ; Laclau 2005 ; Negri [1999] 2009 ; see also Graeber 2009 ) has helped liberate “the people” from their association with both primordial nationalism and revolutionary

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Neither Shadow nor Spectre

Populism as the Ideological Embodiment of the Democratic Paradox

Anthony Lawrence Borja

the populist leader is the democratic paradox as a set of fundamental questions on the nature of popular identity and the realisation of popular sovereignty. These questions, however, are essentially irresolvable, unless they are abandoned along with

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Creating the People as ‘One’?

On Democracy and Its Other

Marta Nunes da Costa

this paradox brought the theoretical and practical challenge of reinventing sovereignty: in order for popular sovereignty to become real, it had to be divided. In the second section, I argue that although the discourse of a divided sovereignty (which

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Filimon Peonidis

, but supposedly epistemically competent, electoral body selected by lot. In my criticisms I draw significantly on a comprehensive normative model of democracy— democracy as popular sovereignty (DPS)—I have defended elsewhere, the basic tenet of which

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Scratches on our sovereignty?

Analyzing conservation politics in the Sundarbans

Jayashree Vivekanandan

are socially constructed in ways that lay state claims open to contestation. Conservation assumed managerial overtones in that it overlooked local expressions of popular sovereignty while regulating local access to forest resources. Finally, an

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Sons of Krishna and sons of Bolivar

Charismatic kinship and leadership across India and Venezuela

Lucia Michelutti

This article uses the analytical tool of divine kinship to explore political charisma across Indian and Venezuelan democratic social revolutions. In both contexts, charismatic elected political leaders build their image of strength and action on a wide repertoire of cultural and religious resources that are legitimated by divine kinship. The juxtaposition of the Indian and Venezuelan political ethnographies shows how charismatic kinship inflects lived understandings of popular sovereignty and opens up spaces for holding personality politics accountable.

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Nicholas Miller, Marie-Christine Boilard, Bo Lindberg, and Jens Wendel-Hansen

Dan Edelstein, The Enlightenment: A Genealogy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), xii + 209 pp.

Kirsten Haack, The United Nations Democracy Agenda: A Conceptual History (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2011), 256 pp.

Pasi Ihalainen, Agents of the People: Democracy and Popular Sovereignty in British and Swedish Parliamentary and Public Debates, 1734–1800 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010), xvi + 532 pp.

Jeppe Nevers, Fra skældsord til slagord. Demokratibegrebet i dansk politisk historie [From term of abuse to catchphrase: The concept of democracy in Danish political history] (Odense: Syddansk Universitetsforlag, 2011), 225 pp.

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From the mouth of God

Divine kinship and popular democratic politics

Alice Forbess and Lucia Michelutti

This article proposes “divine kinship” as an analytical tool with which to explore the relation between the divine, “the people”, and their political leaders and advance an ethnographically led comparative anthropology of democracy. More specifically, using the political ethnographies of five localities—North India, Venezuela, Montenegro, Russia, and Nepal—we discuss lived understandings of popular sovereignty, electoral representation, and political hope. We argue that charismatic kinship is crucial to understanding the processes by which political leaders and elected representatives become the embodiment of “the people”, and highlight the processes through which “ordinary people” are transformed into “extraordinary people” with royal/divine/democratic qualities.