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Calhoun’s concurrent majority as a generality norm

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  • Alexander Salter

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the political philosophy of John C. Calhoun from the perspective of Virginia Political Economy. Specifically, this paper argues that Calhoun’s theory of the concurrent majority offers a way of operationalizing the “generality norm” of Buchanan and Congleton Politics by principle, not interest: towards nondiscriminatory democracy. liberty fund, indianapolis, ( 2003 [1988]).The analysis of this doctrine, which holds that constitutional democracy can only be preserved from majoritarian absolutism if minority interests have the power to check the power of majority coalitions, is this paper’s main purpose. The paper also discusses the most plausible way Calhoun’s recommendations can be put into practice in the United States by drawing on insights from his Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States, in which he defends the social compact theory of the union and the benefits of federalism. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Salter, 2015. "Calhoun’s concurrent majority as a generality norm," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 375-390, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:26:y:2015:i:3:p:375-390
    DOI: 10.1007/s10602-014-9183-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander William Salter, 2016. "Political Property Rights and Governance Outcomes: A Theory of the Corporate Polity," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 31(Winter 20), pages 1-20.
    2. Alexander William Salter, 2015. "A Monarchical Perspective on Constitucional Governance: H.S.H. Price Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein and The State in the Third Millennium," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 30(Spring 20), pages 121-130.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Calhoun; Concurrent majority; Constitutional political economy; Federalism; Generality norm; Majoritarianism; Social compact; Unanimity; H1; H77; P1;

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems

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