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Constituent PowerLaw, Popular Rule and Politics$
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Matilda Arvidsson, Leila Brännström, and Panu Minkkinen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474454971

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474454971.001.0001

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The People: Ethnoracial Configurations, Old and New

The People: Ethnoracial Configurations, Old and New

Chapter:
(p.79) 4 The People: Ethnoracial Configurations, Old and New
Source:
Constituent Power
Author(s):

Leila Brännström

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474454971.003.0006

In recent years the Sweden Democrats have championed a clarification of the identity of the ‘the people’ in the Instrument of government. The reference, they argue, should be to the ethnic group of Swedes. This chapter will take this ambition to fix the subject of popular sovereignty as the point of departure for discussing some of the ways in which the contemporary anti-foreigner political forces of Northern and Western Europe imagine ‘the people’ and identify their allies and enemies within and beyond state borders. To set the stage for this exploration the chapter will start by looking at Carl Schmitt’s ideas about political friendship, and more specifically the way he imagines the relationship between ‘us’ in a political and constitutional sense and ‘the people’ in national and ethnoracial terms. The choice to begin with Schmitt is not arbitrary. His thoughts about the nature of the political association have found their way into the discourse of many radical right-wing parties of Western and Northern Europe.

Keywords:   The people, Race, Ethnic groups, Nation, Political association, Carl Schmitt, Sweden Democrats,  European New Right

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