Radical Philosophy Review 25 (1):1-32 (2022)

Leftist political theory remains trapped between two dominant conceptions of sovereignty: the liberal conception of popular sovereignty and the decisionist conception of sovereignty as the power to declare a state of exception. This essay offers a historical critique of the liberal and decisionist conceptions of sovereignty and develops a descriptive theory of aristocratic sovereignty, which is more suited to the history and the needs of radical political theory and praxis. By tracing the genealogy of sovereignty through early modern European political thought to the founding of the United States, this essay reveals the debilitating shortcoming of notions of sovereignty derived from both Carl Schmitt and the liberal tradition and provides a basis for a distinctively radical analysis of the sovereign aristocracy in Amerika.
Keywords Social and Political Philosophy
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DOI 10.5840/radphilrev2021621119
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