Identifying the People.
The Sovereign People in Action and in Myth.
2. 'The People' and its Past.
Prelude in Rome: The People in Action.
The People in Reserve: From Shadow to Substance.
Civil War to American Revolution: the English People in Rebellion.
We the People: The American Revolution and its Significance.
Popular Sovereignty and Parliamentary Reform in Nineteenth-Century Britain.
Popular Government and the People.
3. Ourselves and Others: People, Nation and Humanity.
People and Nation.
Peoples and People.
4. Part and Whole: People, Populism and Democracy.
The Common People.
Populism in Contemporary Liberal Democracies.
Populism, Democracy and the People.
5. We the Sovereign People.
Can Popular Sovereignty be Understood?.
Can Popular Sovereignty be Exercised?.
6. Myths of the Sovereign People.
Myths of the People.
the People as a Fiction.
The People as Myth and Political Reality.
Professor Richard Bellamy, Academic Director ECPR, Co-editor CRISPP, Department of Government, University of Essex
‘An immensely useful volume. Canovan does a superb job of transforming “the people” from a cliché into an important object of moral and political analysis.’
Bernard Yack, Lerman-Neubauer Professor of Democracy, Brandeis University
'Margaret Canovan's The People ... is the place to start for those who work with issues of popular sovereignty and find it difficult to come up with a coherent "theory" of the people. Canovan provides an excellent introduction to the tensions and problems involved in the idea of the sovereign people, and does so in a way that speaks both to students and professional scholars ... Canovan is most compelling in describing the tensions involved in the sovereign people. Her analysis is instructive and rich with examples ... Canovan succeeds in the difficult task of making the issue of the sovereign people accessible to a wider audience without downplaying the challenging questions that go with it.'
'People from various disciplines will find this book useful, whether they work in politics, political theory, social studies or social philosophy. But this is also an excellent introduction for the layperson who is simply interested in these fields ... Canovan does a superb job'
Political Studies Review
- Excellent introduction to one of the most used but least defined concepts in political philosophy.
- Analyses the concept of the people in relation to the concepts of history, sovereignty, democracy and the nation.
- Only book currently available which specifically considers ‘the people’ as a political phenomenon.
- Written in an accessible and entertaining style.