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The Rise of Popular Sovereignty

The Rise of Popular Sovereignty

Chapter:
(p.60) Chapter Three The Rise of Popular Sovereignty
Source:
Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect
Author(s):
Luke Glanville
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226077086.003.0004

This chapter examines the emergence of popular sovereignty, expressed by theorists such as Locke and Rousseau and by the American and French revolutionaries, and its subsequent endorsement as a legitimacy principle by international society at Versailles in 1919. The principle of popular sovereignty held that rulers were responsible not only for but to the people for the protection of their safety and security. However, after the French Revolution, the struggle for popular sovereignty in Europe was increasingly expressed as a struggle for the rights of nations to govern themselves rather than a struggle for the rights of individuals within these nations. International society established the principle of national self-determination as a legitimacy principle at the end of the First World War and this principle was complemented by tentative rights of nations to freedom from intervention and interference. However, these rights were held in tension with an unsettled doctrine of “humanitarian intervention” and a weak international regime for the protection of minority rights.

Keywords:   First World War, French Revolution, Humanitarian Intervention, Locke, Minority Rights, Popular Sovereignty, Rousseau, Self-determination, Versailles

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