Redefining Popular Sovereignty

Sarbani Sen

in The Constitution of India

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780198071600
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080045 | DOI:
Redefining Popular Sovereignty

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This chapter discusses the founders' decision to redefine popular sovereignty and adopt the liberal representative principle to create a Nehruvian statist political order. They recognized that civic privatism had to be tolerated to secure individual liberty. The constitution thus marks spheres of private liberties and allows citizens to pursue their interests without coercing them to engage in politics. It is up to each citizen to decide how much time and energy he would devote for exercise of his private interests and how much for acts of citizenship. Under conditions of normal politics, popular sovereignty could only exist in a ‘proceduralized’ sense in Habermasian theory, where popular opinion and will formation in informal and voluntary public spheres could seek to influence the channels of legitimate law-making.

Keywords: Indian constitution; constitutionalism; popular sovereignty; founders; liberal representative principle; civic privatism

Chapter.  22408 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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