The People

Margaret Canovan

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548439
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

 The People

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This article analyses the notion of the ‘the people’ in contemporary political theory. It explains that the people's authority is considered to confer legitimacy upon constitutions, new regimes, and changes to the borders of states. It discusses the attribution of ultimate political authority to the people and investigates how the people came to have an authoritative status. It also analyses whether the repository of the ultimate political authority is a collective entity, a collection of individuals, or both.

Keywords: the people; political theory; people's authority; authoritative status; collective entity

Article.  5135 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Political Theory

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