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Working paper

The Problem of Sovereignty in the Liberal Conservatism of François Guizot

The problem of sovereignty is one of the key issues of political philosophy as it prompts a key political question: “Who has the supreme state power?” Who is sovereign: the people, the representation, the monarch or God? The research of this topic was one of the most popular and fruitful areas in political philosophy of the 19th century. In his meditations on sovereignty François Guizot was seeking answers to specific questions, such as the causes of decline of the Revolution and the fall of the Napoleonic Empire, the fate of the Bourbon dynasty and vitality of the 1814 Charter. An examination of Guizot’s sovereignty conception would help to reconstruct an important part of political theory of this thinker, shed light on the philosophical roots of French liberalism, demonstrate the ideology’s relation to democratic tradition and reveal complex thinking concerning the status of the sovereignty problem in political practice.