Jean-Jacques Rousseau alla ricerca della volontà generale
In The Social Contract, Rousseau struggles to find a coherent interpretation of a fundamental concept, “the general will.” Today, millions of disappointed voters (and non-voters) struggle to go beyond the traditional forms of representative democracies. The first aim of the present paper is to critically evaluate the antithetical conceptions of the general will suggested by Rousseau. The second aim of this study is to investigate the possibility of the concrete application of his concepts as an antidote to the contemporary crisis of political representation. It is argued that Rousseau’s participatory democracy is forced, by its basic “axioms,” to be confined to a utopian political sphere.
Giovanni CaporioniJagiellonian University in Krakow, Faculty of International and Political Studies, Programme in International Relations and Area Studies