The first-person plural - 'we, ourselves' - is the hallmark of a democracy under the rule of law in the modern age.
Exploring the roots of this 'rule of recognition', Bert van Roermund offers an in-depth reading of Rousseau's work, focusing on its most fundamental leitmotif: the sovereignty of the people. Providing an innovative understanding of Rousseau's politico-legal philosophy, this book illustrates the legal significance of plural agency and what it means for a people to act together: What do people share when using the word 'we'?
What makes a people's actions political? And what exactly is 'bodily' about their joint commitment?
Testing these ideas in three controversial modern debates - bio-technology, immigrant rights and populism - Van Roermund offers a critical assessment of 'political theology' in contemporary legal environments and establishes a new interpretation of joint action as bodily entrenched. Incisive and cutting-edge, this book is crucial reading for scholars of jurisprudence and legal and political philosophy, particularly those with a focus on Rousseauian theory.
Students of jurisprudence and constitutional theory will also benefit from its philosophical and political insights, as well as its discussions of pressing real-world issues.