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Les métamorphoses du concept de souveraineté (XVI ème-XVIII ème siècles)

Abstract : Even today, our political life is built on an interaction between command and submission, to which we are bound by political Sovereignty. But it is a particular form of the political power, that raised in the 16th century with Bodin’s intellectual contribution, from a precise historical juncture. How this concept, referring to the absolute and unconditional submission from the « free subjects » to the Sovereign, also pertains to modern democratic societies? Are the indivisibility and transcendence of this power appropriate to express people’s sovereignty too? Identifying a first metamorphosis of this concept is necessary, while assessing its transcription into the republican form of government set up by the two American and French Revolutions in the 18th century. Then it became relevant to question how to combine the necessary obedience to public powers with human liberty. Isn’t the obligation to submit to which we are compelled by a sovereign autority, a limitation of this liberty? Isn’t it in the nature of every power to turn abnormally large and invasive? How to ensure both the preservation of the subjective rights of the citizens and the citizen’s coexistence in a society? The study of the American Federal Republic allows us to describe the particular interaction between a certain representation of the political power’s fonctions, and an efficient enterprising social dynamic. By dividing the sovereignty, the Americans contradict one of its essential presumed features, initiating its second metamorphosis. To what extend, then, can we challenge the attributes of sovereignty, without losing the specific relation of power that its inception inaugurated
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Gaëlle Demelemestre. Les métamorphoses du concept de souveraineté (XVI ème-XVIII ème siècles). Philosophie. Université Paris-Est, 2009. Français. ⟨NNT : 2009PEST1008⟩. ⟨tel-00503799⟩

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