People power

Popular sovereignty from Machiavelli to modernity

Edited by Robert Ingram and Christopher Barker

People power


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6564-0
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: July 2022
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Comparative politics, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory, Society & social sciences / History of ideas, Humanities / European history, Modern History, Political Theory, European history: medieval period, middle ages, HISTORY / United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800), POLITICAL SCIENCE / Comparative Politics, HISTORY / Europe / Western, POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory, History Of The Americas


People power explores the history of the theory and practice of popular power. Western thinking about politics has two fundamental features: popular power in practice is problematic and nothing confers political legitimacy except popular sovereignty. This book explains how we got to our current default position in which rule of, for and by the people is simultaneously a practical problem and a received truth of politics. The book asks readers to think about how appreciating that history shapes the way we think about the people's power in the present. Drawn from the disciplines of history and political theory, the essayists in this volume engage in a mutually informing conversation about popular power. They conclude that the problems which first gave rise to popular sovereignty remain simultaneously compelling, unresolved and worthy of further attention.


1 People power - Christopher Barker and Robert G. Ingram
2 Machiavelli's 'moments' - Catherine Zuckert
3 Death and taxes in Machiavelli's Florentine state - Danielle Charette
4 Taming the Parliament: John Locke on legislative limits, prerogative and popular sovereignty - Nathan Pinkoski
5 Montesquieu and the theory of limited sovereignty - William Selinger
6 The revolution for society: rethinking popular sovereignty, American independence and the Age of the Democratic Revolution - James M. Vaughn
7 Filippo Mazzei's Atlantic revolutions: a new dawn for popular sovereignty or populism? - Anna Vincenzi
8 Popular sovereignty as populism in the early American republic - Joshua A. Lynn
9 Like a god on Earth: popular sovereignty in Tocqueville's Democracy in America - Heather Pangle Wilford
10 Plural voting and popular government in Victorian Britain - Greg Conti
11 Modern representation and the popular will - Susan Shell and Paul T. Wilford
12 Sovereignty, God and the historians - Robert G. Ingram
13 Conclusion: what is popular sovereignty? - Mark Blitz


Robert G. Ingram is Professor of History and Director of the Menard Family George Washington Forum at Ohio University

Christopher Barker is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout