Alessandro Ferrara

What is a people?

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: People; Democracy; Deconstructionism; Legitimacy; Constitution.

Even in the heyday of populism, the notion of "the people" remains at center-stage of all theory of democracy. The article is aimed at questioning three widely shared assumptions concerning the political-philosophical concept of "the people" and at thereby contributing to a discussion on the democratic founding of a democratic polity. The first assumption is linked with the idea, of currency within a wide literature steeped in deconstructionism, that agency cannot be imputed to super-individual entities without generating ideological implications. The second assumption intimates that the idea of "the people" as a "legitimate" political subject is intrinsically aporetic. The third assumption concedes that "the people" can defensibly be understood as a legitimate political subject, but intimates that the idea of a democratic founding of a democratic polity is aporetic.

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