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The politics of peoplehood

White, Jonathan and Ypi, Lea (2017) The politics of peoplehood. Political Theory, 45 (4). 439 - 465. ISSN 0090-5917

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0090591715608899


Contemporary political theory has made the question of the “people” a topic of sustained analysis. This article identifies two broad approaches taken—norm-based and contestation-based—and, noting some problems left outstanding, goes on to advance a complementary account centred on partisan practice. It suggests the definition of “the people” is closely bound up in the analysis of political conflict, and that partisans engaged in such conflict play an essential role in constructing and contesting different principled conceptions. The article goes on to show how such an account does not lead to a normatively hollow, purely historical conception of “the people,” but rather highlights the normative importance of practices that, at the minimum, de-naturalise undesirable conceptions of the people and, at their best, give political legitimacy and a representative basis to those one might wish to see prosper.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2015 SAGE Publications
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2015 12:01
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:53

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