The Double Fiction of ‘People’

In the constitutions as well as in theoretical discourses, the concept of the people is closely intertwined with that of sovereignty, but debates have prioritized the venerable cathegory of sovereignty over that of the people, which is thus likely to be reduced to a mere successor of the sovereign state.
A different perspective is afforded by inquiring into how ‘the people’ as such is presented and discussed, departing from the issue of whether it corresponds to a natural entity, or it pertains to the artificial concepts inhabiting constitutional theory. The current malaise of constitutional democracy, involving the people’s relationship with the constitution, views the reappearance of the ficticious claim of the people as a natural entity, with the related question of whether it should be considered a cause, or instead a symptom, of the democracy’s malaise.