I. M.Lokshin

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  • № 2, 2021

    • Democracy against Popular Sovereignty? (Faces of Power of the People: Theoretic Reconstruction)

      In the article, on the basis of the classical political philosophers, the author distinguishes between three ideal-typical modi of political superiority of the people: “democracy”, “popular sovereignty” and “the natural right of the people to vindicate the supreme power”. Differen ces between them are drawn according to the criteria of (a) the distance between the holder of the supreme power and the holder of power that allows the routine management of the state, and (b) the degree to which the former controls the latter. The theoretic reconstruction of the modi of the political superiority of the people is based on identifying three ways to assert political superiority, expressed in the concepts of κράτος, sovereignty and vindication. This approach makes it possible to trace the specifics of each of the identified modi: “democracy” in its original (ancient Greek) sense is the power of the people, based on the obvious superiority (over the nobility) in their strength, in their excess of power, thanks to which the people are able to effectively implement their will in the public sphere; “popular sovereignty” makes the people a key political agent not by referring to their excess of power, but by securing their legal position as a source of laws and any public power; finally, “the natural right of the people to vindicate the supreme power” asserts the moral and teleological primacy of the people’s good over that of the rulers.

      According to the author’s conclusion, the three modi of the political superiority of the people differ from each other primarily in the extent to which the people are involved in the political process. Under “democracy” this extent is maximal, in the case of the “natural right to vindication” it is minimal, while “popular sovereignty” finds itself in the middle between these two extremes: both threats of the decisive “alienation” of the people from power and its usurpation by the “trustees” and tyranny of the people are absent. The author thinks that this middle ground of the “popular sovereignty” represents one of the reasons why it is this modus that symbolizes the architectonics of the modern democracy.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2021-101-2-6-29

      Pages: 6-29