20 July 2016

BOOK: Daniel LEE, Popular Sovereignty in Early Modern Constitutional Thought [Oxford Constitutional Theory]. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, 361 p. ISBN 9780198745167

(image source: Oxford Scholarship Online)

The Legal History Blog signalled a book by Daniel Lee (UC Berkeley) on Popular Sovereignty in Early Modern Constitutional Thought.

Popular sovereignty—the doctrine that the public powers of the state originate in a concessive grant of power from ‘the people’—is perhaps the cardinal doctrine of modern constitutional theory. Its classic formulation is to be found in the major theoretical treatments of the modern state, such as in the treatises of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and it functions as a model in the design of modern constitutions, by locating the source of such public power in a putative ‘We the People’ anterior to public institutions. This book explores the intellectual origins of this constitutional doctrine in later medieval and early modern legal thought. Key to the operation of this doctrine was the legal science of Roman law, long regarded as the principal source for modern legal reasoning in Western jurisprudence. Roman law had a profound impact on the major architects of popular sovereignty doctrine, such as Baldus de Ubaldis, François Hotman, Jean Bodin, Johannes Althusius, and Hugo Grotius. The book illustrates how these jurists strategically integrated the juridical language of obligations, property, personality, as well as the model of the Roman constitution, into their analysis, locating the right of sovereignty in the people at large, as the exclusive owners of state authority. In recovering the origins of popular sovereignty in this way, the book demonstrates the vital importance of Roman law as one of the major sources of modern constitutionalism.
 Table of contents:
Introduction: Popular Sovereignty, Constitutionalism, and the Civil Law
1 The Lex Regia: The Theory of Popular Sovereignty in the Roman Law Tradition
2 The Medieval Law of Peoples
3 Roman Law and the Renaissance State: Dominium, Jurisdiction, and the Humanist Theory of Princely Authority
4 Popular Resistance and Popular Sovereignty: Roman Law and the Monarchomach Doctrine of Popular Sovereignty
5 The Roman Law Foundations of Bodin’s Early Doctrine of Sovereignty
6 Jean Bodin, Popular Sovereignty, and Constitutional Government
7 Popular Sovereignty, Civil Association, and the Respublica: Johannes Althusius and the German Publicists
8 Popular Liberty, Princely Government, and the Roman Law in Hugo Grotius’ De Iure Belli ac Pacis
9 Popular Sovereignty and the Civil Law in Stuart Constitutional Thought Conclusion
More information on the publisher's website.

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