Constitutional self-government and nationalism: Hobbes, Locke and George Lawson

History of Political Thought 35 (3):458-484 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The emphasis in contemporary democratic theory and in the history of political thought on the peculiarly abstract theory of popular sovereignty of Locke and his twentieth-century intellectual descendants obscures a crucial relationship between constitutional self-government and nationalism. Through a Hobbesian and Filmerian critique of Locke and an examination of the political writings of George Lawson , the article shows the necessary connections between popular sovereignty, constitutionalism and a form of national consciousness that renders concrete the otherwise abstract and airy notion of the pre-political community to which government is to be held accountable, and, through amyth of national origin, memories of native traditions of self-government, and stories of heroic ancestors who successfully defended those traditions against usurpers and tyrants, gives substance to theories of constitutional government.

Author's Profile

Ethan Alexander-Davey
Campbell University

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-01-31

Downloads
228 (#35,470)

6 months
16 (#52,628)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?