*This is the text of a lecture given at the Philosophy Department of North-Western-University, Evanston held on September 23, 1992.
Human Rights and Popular Sovereignty: The Liberal and Republican Versions*
Article first published online: 2 AUG 2007
Volume 7, Issue 1, pages 1–13, March 1994
How to Cite
HABERMAS, J. (1994), Human Rights and Popular Sovereignty: The Liberal and Republican Versions*. Ratio Juris, 7: 1–13. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9337.1994.tb00162.x
**Abstract by Francesco Belvisi.
- Issue published online: 2 AUG 2007
- Article first published online: 2 AUG 2007
Popular sovereignty and human rights are the modern pillars of legal legitimacy and political power. Liberal and republican thought, however, tend to interpret the two notions from different perspectives: either as moral principles, emphasizing the self-legislation and autonomy of individuals, or as ethical values, stressing the self-realization of the political community. Adhering to his theory of communicative action, the author brings the two principles together in a non-competitive relation. Here the connection between popular sovereignty and human rights is given by the procedures of a discursive process of opinion- and will-formation. Theoretically, the institutionalization of this process through law leads to a normative model of contemporary democracy, which is based on the substance of human rights as a formal condition for deliberative politics.**