Political Theory 50 (2):247-274 (2022)

Recovering a marginal body of pluralist political thought from early twentieth-century India, this article explores how the question of popular sovereignty shaped the federalist reconfiguration of the anticolonial democratic project. The turn to federalism was facilitated by the Indian reckoning with Hegel in the late nineteenth century, which led to the diagnosis that the universality ascribed to monist sovereignty relies on a “unilinear” theory of development. Through a sustained engagement with British pluralist and American progressive thought, Indian federalist thinkers eventually developed a many-willed conception of the people. In so doing, they hoped to overcome the denial of Indian peoplehood on the ground of its lack of national unity and historical backwardness. However, the alternative source of sovereignty the federalists pointed to—plural and many-willed—stood in tension with their simultaneous pursuit of a people speaking in one voice. In this way, the constitutive tension of the pluralist conception of sovereignty came strikingly alive in the colonial world.
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DOI 10.1177/00905917211018534
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References found in this work BETA

The Concept of the Political.Carl Schmitt - 1996 - University of Chicago Press.
Imagining India.Rosane Rocher & Ronald Inden - 2003 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 123 (1):267.
Popular Sovereignty and Nationalism.Bernard Yack - 2001 - Political Theory 29 (4):517-536.

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