constituent moments enacting the people in postrevolutionary america

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Constituent Moments

Author : Jason Frank
ISBN : 9780822391685
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 59. 70 MB
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Since the American Revolution, there has been broad cultural consensus that “the people” are the only legitimate ground of public authority in the United States. For just as long, there has been disagreement over who the people are and how they should be represented or institutionally embodied. In Constituent Moments, Jason Frank explores this dilemma of authorization: the grounding of democratic legitimacy in an elusive notion of the people. Frank argues that the people are not a coherent or sanctioned collective. Instead, the people exist as an effect of successful claims to speak on their behalf; the power to speak in their name can be vindicated only retrospectively. The people, and democratic politics more broadly, emerge from the dynamic tension between popular politics and representation. They spring from what Frank calls “constituent moments,” moments when claims to speak in the people’s name are politically felicitous, even though those making such claims break from established rules and procedures for representing popular voice. Elaborating his theory of constituent moments, Frank focuses on specific historical instances when under-authorized individuals or associations seized the mantle of authority, and, by doing so, changed the inherited rules of authorization and produced new spaces and conditions for political representation. He looks at crowd actions such as parades, riots, and protests; the Democratic-Republican Societies of the 1790s; and the writings of Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass. Frank demonstrates that the revolutionary establishment of the people is not a solitary event, but rather a series of micropolitical enactments, small dramas of self-authorization that take place in the informal contexts of crowd actions, political oratory, and literature as well as in the more formal settings of constitutional conventions and political associations.

Hybrid Constitutions

Author : Vicki Hsueh
ISBN : 9780822391616
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 33. 22 MB
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In Hybrid Constitutions, Vicki Hsueh contests the idea that early-modern colonial constitutions were part of a uniform process of modernization, conquest, and assimilation. Through detailed analyses of the founding of several seventeenth-century English proprietary colonies in North America, she reveals how diverse constitutional thought and practice were at the time, and how colonial ambitions were advanced through cruelty toward indigenous peoples as well as accommodation of them. Proprietary colonies were governed by individuals (or small groups of individuals) granted colonial charters by the Crown. These proprietors had quasi-sovereign status over their colonies; they were able to draw on and transform English legal and political instruments as they developed constitutions. Hsueh demonstrates that the proprietors cobbled together constitutions based on the terms of their charters and the needs of their settlements. The “hybrid constitutions” they created were often altered based on interactions among the English settlers, other European settlers, and indigenous peoples. Hsueh traces the historical development and theoretical implications of proprietary constitutionalism by examining the founding of the colonies of Maryland, Carolina, and Pennsylvania. She provides close readings of colonial proclamations, executive orders, and assembly statutes, as well as the charter granting Cecilius Calvert the colony of Maryland in 1632; the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, adopted in 1669; and the treaties brokered by William Penn and various Lenni Lenape and Susquehannock tribes during the 1680s and 1690s. These founding documents were shaped by ambition, contingency, and limited resources; they reflected an ambiguous and unwieldy colonialism rather than a purposeful, uniform march to modernity. Hsueh concludes by reflecting on hybridity as a rubric for analyzing the historical origins of colonialism and reconsidering contemporary indigenous claims in former settler colonies such as Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

A Political Companion To Herman Melville

Author : Jason Frank
ISBN : 9780813143880
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 24. 18 MB
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Herman Melville is widely considered to be one of America's greatest authors, and countless literary theorists and critics have studied his life and work. However, political theorists have tended to avoid Melville, turning rather to such contemporaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to understand the political thought of the American Renaissance. While Melville was not an activist in the traditional sense and his philosophy is notoriously difficult to categorize, his work is nevertheless deeply political in its own right. As editor Jason Frank notes in his introduction to A Political Companion to Herman Melville, Melville's writing "strikes a note of dissonance in the pre-established harmonies of the American political tradition." This unique volume explores Melville's politics by surveying the full range of his work -- from Typee (1846) to the posthumously published Billy Budd (1924). The contributors give historical context to Melville's writings and place him in conversation with political and theoretical debates, examining his relationship to transcendentalism and contemporary continental philosophy and addressing his work's relevance to topics such as nineteenth-century imperialism, twentieth-century legal theory, the anti-rent wars of the 1840s, and the civil rights movement. From these analyses emerges a new and challenging portrait of Melville as a political thinker of the first order, one that will establish his importance not only for nineteenth-century American political thought but also for political theory more broadly.

Populism S Power

Author : Laura Grattan
ISBN : 9780190277642
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 67. 37 MB
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Uprisings such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street signal a resurgence of populist politics in America, pitting the people against the establishment in a struggle over control of democracy. In the wake of its conservative capture during the Nixon and Reagan eras, and given its increasing ubiquity as a mainstream buzzword of politicians and pundits, democratic theorists and activists have been eager to abandon populism to right-wing demagogues and mega-media spin-doctors. Decades of liberal scholarship have reinforced this shift, turning the term "populism" into a pejorative in academic and public discourse. At best, they conclude that populism encourages an "empty" wish to express a unified popular will beyond the mediating institutions of government; at worst, it has been described as an antidemocratic temperament prone to fomenting backlash against elites and marginalized groups. Populism's Power argues that such routine dismissals of populism reinforce liberalism as the end of democracy. Yet, as long as democracy remains true to its meaning, that is, "rule by the people," democratic theorists and activists must be able to give an account of the people as collective actors. Without such an account of the people's power, democracy's future seems fixed by the institutions of today's neoliberal, managerial states, and not by the always changing demographics of those who live within and across their borders. Laura Grattan looks at how populism cultivates the aspirations of ordinary people to exercise power over their everyday lives and their collective fate. In evaluating competing theories of populism she looks at a range of populist moments, from cultural phenomena such as the Chevrolet ad campaign for "Our Country, Our Truck," to the music of Leonard Cohen, and historical and contemporary populist movements, including nineteenth-century Populism, the Tea Party, broad-based community organizing, and Occupy Wall Street. While she ultimately expresses ambivalence about both populism and democracy, she reopens the idea that grassroots movements--like the insurgent farmers and laborers, New Deal agitators, and Civil Rights and New Left actors of US history--can play a key role in democratizing power and politics in America.

Publius And Political Imagination

Author : Jason Frank
ISBN : 9780742548169
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 47. 38 MB
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Jason Frank’s Publius and Political Imagination is the first volume of the Modernity and Political Thought series to take as its focus not a single author, but collaboration between political philosophers, in this very special case the collective known by the pseudonym: Publius.

Sensing The Nation S Law

Author : Stefan Huygebaert
ISBN : 9783319754970
Genre : Law
File Size : 66. 12 MB
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This book examines how the nation – and its (fundamental) law – are ‘sensed’ by way of various aesthetic forms from the age of revolution up until our age of contested democratic legitimacy. Contemporary democratic legitimacy is tied, among other things, to consent, to representation, to the identity of ruler and ruled, and, of course, to legality and the legal forms through which democracy is structured. This book expands the ways in which we can understand and appreciate democratic legitimacy. If (democratic) communities are “imagined” this book suggests that their “rightfulness” must be “sensed” – analogously to the need for justice not only to be done, but to be seen to be done. This book brings together legal, historical and philosophical perspectives on the representation and iconography of the nation in the European, North American and Australian contexts from contributors in law, political science, history, art history and philosophy.

Only The People Can Save The People Constituent Power Revolution And Counterrevolution In Venezuela

Author : Donald V. Kingsbury
ISBN : 9781438469652
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 36. 5 MB
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Hannah Arendt And The Law

Author : Marco Goldoni
ISBN : 9781847319319
Genre : Law
File Size : 82. 57 MB
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This book fills a major gap in the ever-increasing secondary literature on Hannah Arendt's political thought by providing a dedicated and coherent treatment of the many, various and interesting things which Arendt had to say about law. Often obscured by more pressing or more controversial aspects of her work, Arendt nonetheless had interesting insights into Greek and Roman concepts of law, human rights, constitutional design, legislation, sovereignty, international tribunals, judicial review and much more. This book retrieves these aspects of her legal philosophy for the attention of both Arendt scholars and lawyers alike. The book brings together lawyers as well as Arendt scholars drawn from a range of disciplines (philosophy, political science, international relations), who have engaged in an internal debate the dynamism of which is captured in print. Following the editors' introduction, the book is split into four Parts: Part I explores the concept of law in Arendt's thought; Part II explores legal aspects of Arendt's constitutional thought: first locating Arendt in the wider tradition of republican constitutionalism, before turning attention to the role of courts and the role of parliament in her constitutional design. In Part III Arendt's thought on international law is explored from a variety of perspectives, covering international institutions and international criminal law, as well as the theoretical foundations of international law. Part IV debates the foundations, content and meaning of Arendt's famous and influential claim that the 'right to have rights' is the one true human right.

Theories Of Social Capital

Author : Ben Fine
ISBN : 0745329969
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 87. 32 MB
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Tracing the evolution of social capital since his highly acclaimed contribution of 2001 (Social Capital Versus Social Theory), Ben Fine consolidates his position as the world's leading critic of the concept. Fine forcibly demonstrates how social capital has expanded across the social sciences only by degrading the different disciplines and topics that it touches: a McDonaldization of social theory. The rise and fall of social capital at the World Bank is critically explained as is social capital's growing presence in disciplines, such as management studies, and its relative absence in others, such as social history. Writing with a sharp critical edge, Fine not only deconstructs the roller-coaster presence of social capital across the social sciences but also draws out lessons on how (and how not) to do research.

The Struggle For Democracy

Author : Christopher Meckstroth
ISBN : 9780190272951
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 44. 70 MB
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Revolutionaries, counter-revolutionaries, and reformers the world over appeal to democracy to justify their actions. But when political factions compete over the right to act in "the people's" name, who is to decide? Although the problem is as old as the great revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, events from the Arab Spring to secession referendums suggest that today it is hardly any closer to being solved. This book defends a new theory of democratic legitimacy and change that provides an answer. Christopher Meckstroth shows why familiar views that identify democracy with timeless principles or institutions fall into paradox when asked to make sense of democratic founding and change. Solving the problem, he argues, requires shifting focus to the historical conditions under which citizens work out what it will mean to govern themselves in a democratic way. The only way of sorting out disputes without faith in progress is to show, in Socratic fashion, that some parties' claims to speak for "the people" cannot hold up even on their own terms. Meckstroth builds his argument on provocative and closely-argued interpretations of Plato, Kant, and Hegel, suggesting that familiar views of them as foundationalist metaphysicians misunderstand their debt to a method of radical doubt pioneered by Socrates. Recovering this tradition of antifoundational argument requires rethinking the place of German idealism in the history of political thought and opens new directions for contemporary democratic theory. The historical and Socratic theory of democracy the book defends makes possible an entirely new way of approaching struggles over contested notions of progress, popular sovereignty, political judgment and democratic change.

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