Keith Baker (Stanford), Mark Blitz (Claremont McKenna), Michael Braddick (Sheffield), and Catherine Zuckert (Notre Dame) will deliver plenary lectures
In his Considerations on Representative Government, political theorist John Stuart Mill argues that “the ideally best form of government is that in which the sovereignty, or supreme controlling power in the last resort, is vested in the entire aggregate of the community.” Currently, we live in a moment where some exercises of the people’s power result in what is often called democratic illiberalism. This conference and volume intend to illuminate the concept of popular sovereignty and its related expression, populism. We are especially interested in the crucial continuities and discontinuities in popular sovereignty that emerge when we study critical moments in political history. These include (but are not limited to) the theory and practice of popular sovereignty in the Italian Renaissance; seventeenth-century England; revolutionary and federal America; and revolutionary France.