Populism and the Paradox of Popular Sovereignty Cover Image

A populizmus és a népszuverenitás paradoxonja
Populism and the Paradox of Popular Sovereignty

A Sketch from the Point of View of the History of Ideas

Author(s): Botond Bakcsi
Subject(s): Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Contemporary Philosophy, Politics and society
Published by: Erdélyi Múzeum-Egyesület
Keywords: populism; popular sovereignty; political concept of the people; legitimation

Summary/Abstract: In The Social Contract, Rousseau outlined very accurately the problem of the foundation of the social order, a problem that was rather revolutionary in its era from a theoretical point of view, and since then has had several significant implications in modern political thought: “before we examine the act by which a people elects a king, it would be good to examine the act by which the people is a people.” Examining this very act has not lost anything of its relevance, particularly if we imply that contemporary populism brings again into the foreground the question referring to the concept of the ‘people’, which has serious political implications and which could have even more ones worldwide in the future. An analysis of Donald Trump’s inaugural address may raise some fundamental issues relevant to the connection between populism and democracy. The concept of the ‘people’ generated by the performative speech act of “You the People” renders a particular interpretation to the idea of popular sovereignty. The present essay attempts to consider the topic of populism setting off from the paradox lying within the concept of popular sovereignty.

  • Issue Year: LXXXI/2019
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 45-54
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Hungarian