The Self-Institution of Society and Representative Government: Can the Circle be Squared?

Thesis Eleven 80 (1):9-37 (2005)
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Abstract

This article discusses the work of Cornelius Castoriadis, an important political thinker and theorist of democracy. Castoriadis developed not one but two theories of democracy based on two distinct understandings of autonomy. The first is compatible with the key features of representative government; the second is not. Unfortunately, Castoriadis models his interpretation of the idea of popular sovereignty on the second view, thereby concluding, like Rousseau before him, that it is incompatible with representative government. This article discusses both approaches and presents a reinterpretation of political representation and of the idea of popular sovereignty in order to show how they can be made compatible. I argue that the discourse of popular sovereignty and the modern principles of representative government entail one another

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Citations of this work

Politics between justification and defiance.Andrea Brighenti & Paul Blokker - 2011 - European Journal of Social Theory 14 (3):283-300.
The Constitution of Modernity: A Critique of Castoriadis.Karl E. Smith - 2009 - European Journal of Social Theory 12 (4):505-521.
Religion and the Project of Autonomy.Karl E. Smith - 2007 - Thesis Eleven 91 (1):27-47.

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