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The New School for Social Research

Bucerius Ph.D. Fellow

The Boundary Problem of the People and a Post-Nationalist Theory of Constituent Power


My dissertation addresses the issue of how to constitute a democratic subject democratically. If democracy requires a social contract that guarantees correspondence between state and society, the question of who participates in the contract, i.e. who are the people, is one of the most fundamental issues in democratic theories. Intervening in the literature of constituent power, deliberative democracy, cosmopolitanism and postmodernism, I trace various conceptions of the people – nationalist, voluntarist, processual and molecular – and analyze how they bear upon the boundary problem. By doing so, I aim to suggest a new normative perspective of the people and a new understanding of democracy.

Yunjeong Choi was born and grew up in South Korea. Studying political science for her B.A. and M.A. at Korea University in Seoul, she got deeply influenced by discourses within democratic and labor movements. To pursue more deeply the questions regarding radical social transformation encountered during the experiences, she decided to study political theory at the New School for Social Research in New York for her Ph.D., and is currently writing a dissertation. Her research interests include democratic and revolutionary theories, populism, and humanitarianism.

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