The challenge of defining "the people," political theorist Jason Frank writes, "haunts all theories of democracy and continually vivifies democratic practice." The phrase "the people" haunts because, like a specter, it claims to speak for something that never was and is always in formation. Yet it "vivifies" democratic theory because the American political tradition's legitimacy derives from popular sovereignty, and thus outsider groups can use the idea of the people to claim a role for themselves within our democracy.
Reviews in American History
Neem, Johann N., "Who are "The People"? Locating Popular Authority in Postrevolutionary America. A Review of: Constituent Moments: Enacting the People in Postrevolutionary America" (2011). History Faculty and Staff Publications. 19.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Political culture--United States--History; Political participation--United States--History; Federal government--United States--History
Subjects - Names (LCNAF)
Frank, Jason A. Constituent moments
United States--Politics and government