Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès: The Essential Political Writings


Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès occupies a prominent place within the history of political thought. He stands at the forefront of both the discourses on human rights and on democratic constitutionalism. And yet, because of his theory of the constituent power he holds a somewhat ambivalent reputation as an advocate of permanent revolution. This state of reception is largely due to the fact that the better part of his work has hitherto not been edited outside of France. The edition Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès: The Essential Political Writings proposes to fill out this desideratum. It seeks to portray Sieyès, against the backdrop of an enlarged textual corpus, as a moderate proponent of the constitutional State.

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Oliver W. Lembcke is professor of political science at Leipzig University (Germany). The main focus of his research interests are in the field of politcal theory, the history of political ideas, and legal politics. His publications include studies on constitutional courts, modern constitutionalism, and on the history of European political ideas during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Florian Weber is a senior researcher in political theory at Jena University (Germany). His main fields of interest are the French Revolution and french constitutional thought. His publications include articles and books on Benjamin Constant and Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès.
Foreword ... ix

Note to the Reader ... xi

Acknowledgements ... xii

Introduction to Sieyès’s Political Theory ... 1
Oliver W. Lembcke and Florian Weber

1 What Is the Third Estate? ... 43
2 Reasoned Exposition of the Rights of Man and Citizen ... 118
3 Controversy between Mr. Paine and M. Emmanuel Sieyès ... 135
4 Of the Gains of Liberty in Society and in the Representative System ... 144
5 Sieyès’s Views Concerning Several Articles of Sections IV and V of the Draft Constitution [First Thermidorian Intervention] .... 152
6 The Opinion of Sieyès Concerning the Tasks and Organization of the Constitutional Jury, Submitted on the Second Thermidor [Second Thermidorian Intervention] ... 170
7 Constitutional Observations ... 186

Bibliography ... 195

Index ... 202
Students and scholars of political theory and the history of political ideas; researchers in the fields of the history of the French Revolution and french constitutionalism.