New Book: JMC Fellows on the Theory and Practice of Popular Power

Crowd of people, 1940

People Power: Popular sovereignty from Machiavelli to modernity

Edited by Robert G. Ingram and Christopher Barker


JMC faculty partner Robert Ingram and fellow Christopher Barker have recently edited a collection of pieces on the theory and practice of popular power. Several JMC scholars served as contributors, including Catherine Zuckert, Danielle Charette, Nathan Pinkoski, James M. Vaughn, Joshua A. Lynn, Heather Pangle Wilford, Susan Shell, Paul T. Wilford, and Mark Blitz:

People Power explores the history of the theory and practice of popular power. Western thinking about politics has two fundamental features: popular power in practice is problematic and nothing confers political legitimacy except popular sovereignty. This book explains how we got to our current default position in which rule of, for and by the people is simultaneously a practical problem and a received truth of politics. The book asks readers to think about how appreciating that history shapes the way we think about the people’s power in the present. Drawn from the disciplines of history and political theory, the essayists in this volume engage in a mutually informing conversation about popular power. They conclude that the problems which first gave rise to popular sovereignty remain simultaneously compelling, unresolved and worthy of further attention.

Purchase the book from Manchester University Press or Amazon >>



Robert IngramRobert Ingram is Professor of History and Director of the Menard Family George Washington Forum at Ohio University. His research concerns religion and society in post-revolutionary Britain and its empire. Dr. Ingram is the author of Reformation Without End: Religion, Politics and the Past in Post-Revolutionary England (Manchester, 2018) and Religion, Reform and Modernity in the Eighteenth Century: Thomas Secker and the Church of England (Boydell, 2007), and is currently working on Hobbes’s Century: England, Ireland and Religious Establishment, 1689–1742, a study of the state’s sacralization in post-revolutionary Britain.

Professor Ingram is a JMC faculty partner.

Learn more about Robert Ingram >>




Barker, ChristopherChristopher Barker is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at American University in Cairo, where he teaches the history of political thought and topics in contemporary political theory. His most recent research focuses attention on John Stuart Mill’s participation in the British imperial project and the effects of imperialism on liberalism in England. His first book, Educating Liberty: Democracy and Aristocracy in JS Mill’s Political Thought (University of Rochester Press, 2018) explains the dependence of Mill’s theory of liberty upon conditions created in large part by increases in gender and economic equality. Professor Barker also has research and teaching interests in mass incarceration and theories of punishment.

Professor Barker is a JMC fellow.

Learn more about Christopher Barker >>




Facebook iconTwitter iconFollow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates about lectures, publications, podcasts, and events related to American political thought, United States history, and the Western political tradition!



Want to help the Jack Miller Center transform higher education? Donate today.