Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : This article considers the justification of majority rule found in John Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government. We first consider Jeremy Waldron's recent interpretation, showing that, in Locke's thought, the power of the majority owes its legitimacy only to moral conditions defined by natural law. We then suggest that the contemporary notion of "circumstances of politics", upon which Waldron grounds his reconstruction, fails to grasp the specificity and, inextricably, the limits of the defense of majority rule in these sections of the Second treatise. Detailed analysis of the text shows that the different arguments Locke develops do not provide a genuinely satisfactory justification of majority rule. Finally, we consider the reasons Locke makes mention of the majority of the people in the context of resistance, and show that the majoritarian scheme which takes place when the governement is dissolved and individuals go into resistance should not be identified with the scheme that operates when a political society is created. © Presses de Sciences Po.