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Understanding Liberal DemocracyEssays in Political Philosophy$
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Nicholas Wolterstorff and Terence Cuneo

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558957.001.0001

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The Right of the People to a Democratic State: Reflections on a Passage in Althusius

The Right of the People to a Democratic State: Reflections on a Passage in Althusius

Chapter:
(p.227) 9 The Right of the People to a Democratic State: Reflections on a Passage in Althusius
Source:
Understanding Liberal Democracy
Author(s):

Nicholas Wolterstorff

Terence Cuneo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558957.003.0010

Nowadays the doctrine of popular sovereignty is usually ignored. If it is taken note of and understood, it is usually rejected, either because its implicit ontology is unacceptable to those of a nominalist persuasion or because it is confused with another doctrine that emerged in the late medieval and early modern period, the doctrine of the consent of the governed. The project of this essay is to formulate the doctrine of popular sovereignty and free it from its association with the doctrine of the consent of the governed. The discussion of popular sovereignty takes the form of reflections on the work of Johannes Althusius (ca. 1557-1638).

Keywords:   authorization, consent, group sovereignty, Locke, John, membership, personal sovereignty, popular sovereignty, natural right, state, voting

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