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The life and times of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Mads Qvortrup

1 The politics of the soul: the life and times of Jean-Jacques Rousseau1 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (St Matthew, 16.26) Did Ludwig Wittgenstein write the most successful love story of his century? Did Thomas Hobbes compose an opera – and did it inspire the work of Mozart? Did Byron write poems about Hume or Leibniz? Did Schiller compose sonnets about Descartes and Locke? These questions seem too ridiculous to warrant an answer. Ask the same questions about Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78) and the opposite

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The impossibility of reason
Author: Mads Qvortrup

This book presents an overview of Jean–Jacques Rousseau's work from a political science perspective. Was Rousseau — the great theorist of the French Revolution—really a conservative? The text argues that the author of ‘The Social Contract’ was a constitutionalist much closer to Madison, Montesquieu, and Locke than to revolutionaries. Outlining his profound opposition to Godless materialism and revolutionary change, this book finds parallels between Rousseau and Burke, as well as showing that Rousseau developed the first modern theory of nationalism. It presents an integrated political analysis of Rousseau's educational, ethical, religious and political writings.

Open Access (free)
Mads Qvortrup

philosopher colleague, the Swiss thinker also believed that political philosophy should be a continuing dialogue with the classics. In the introduction to the Discourse sur l’inégalité (The Origin of Inequality), Rousseau, almost echoing Machiavelli, set out to transcend history and speak directly to all of mankind. As my subject of interest is mankind in general, I shall endeavour to make use of a style adapted to all nations, or rather forgetting time and place, to attend only to men to whom I am speaking. I shall suppose myself in the Lyceum of Athens, repeating the

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Will Kymlicka and Sue Donaldson

, participating in cooperative activity, abiding by social norms – but they lack the capacity to engage in the kind of rational deliberation about political propositions that is widely assumed to characterize democratic citizenship. As Gary Steiner ( 2013 ) notes, most theories of citizenship have assumed that citizens have what he calls “linguistic agency” – the ability to articulate, understand, evaluate, negotiate and commit to abstract linguistic

in Democratic inclusion
Open Access (free)
Rainer Bauböck

democracy That brings me straight to Joseph Carens's response. Carens's main question is what my question is. Clarifying this is really important for a good conversation. In a nutshell, my question is: Which principles should guide citizens of a democratic polity and their representatives when considering whose interests should count in their political decisions, whom to offer protection, and whom to include in their midst as citizens

in Democratic inclusion
David Owen

Rainer Bauböck's work on popular sovereignty, citizenship and the demos problem is an important touchstone for contemporary political, and especially democratic, theory. Grounded in attention to both the theoretical and empirical circumstances of individual and collective political agency, Bauböck offers a highly sophisticated and, in many ways, compelling approach to thinking through the philosophical and political

in Democratic inclusion
Iseult Honohan

Introduction In his illuminating essay Rainer Bauböck advances a comprehensive approach to the question of how to determine membership of a democratic political community, that takes into account alternative theoretical principles, a variety of kinds of contemporary membership claims, and the complexities of current multiple levels of political structures. He identifies his all citizen stakeholders

in Democratic inclusion
Some questions for Rainer Bauböck
Joseph H. Carens

. Bauböck has many illuminating things to say about these three principles, including the ways in which they are derived from different but compatible conceptions of democracy. I agree with him that it is important for many of the purposes of collective democratic decision-making to have stable political units with clear jurisdictional authority over a wide range of issues within a specific territorial space; and that for this reason AAI, at least

in Democratic inclusion
Rousseau as a constitutionalist
Mads Qvortrup

article of faith. It is debatable if this charge of totalitarianism is justified, and, indeed, plausible. Totalitarianism is characterised by a deliberate attempt to change people to fit a political system or a historical development (Barber 1987: 525).1 Proponents of the thesis that Rousseau was a totalitarian seem to have overlooked that he explicitly set out to inquire ‘whether in civil order there can be some legitimate and sure rule of administration, taking men as they are’ (‘tels qu’ils sont’) (III: 351). Some writers have sought to rescue Rousseau from the

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Philip Nanton

Margaret Atwood’s thriller Bodily Harm ( 1998 [1981] ). While the two novels omit any direct reference to a specific country, they speak strongly to the particularity of the smaller Caribbean islands. Finally, I read two political memoirs by Prime Ministers of St Vincent for what they reveal about the frontier: that of James ‘Son’ Mitchell, Prime Minister from 1984 to 2001, and the other by his successor, Ralph

in Frontiers of the Caribbean