Sovereignty and the Separation of Powers in John Locke

The European Legacy 15 (3):323-339 (2010)
Locke's conceptualization of sovereignty and its uses, combining theological, social, and political perspectives, testifies to his intellectual profundity that was spurred by his endeavour to re-traditionalize a changing world. First, by relying on the traditional, personalistic notion of polity, Locke developed a concept of sovereignty that bore the same sense of authority as the “right of commanding” attributable only to real persons. Second, he managed to reconcile the unitary nature of sovereignty with the plurality of its uses, mainly through a conception of the dual, vertical separation of functions, which implied degrees rather than kinds of sovereignty. While absolute sovereignty belongs to God, Locke argued, relative sovereignty, separated into “potential” and “actual” sovereignty, is vested in the community on the grounds of the Edenic testament with God. The community, established by a fundamental, single contract, is divided into “society”—to fulfil the function of legislation, which signifies the potential sovereignty of the community, so as to cultivate common law , and into “government”—to undertake the execution, which signifies the actual sovereignty of the king, of common law so as to procure common wealth
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/10848771003783611
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,453
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

56 ( #87,236 of 1,925,262 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

16 ( #40,038 of 1,925,262 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.