Anno LII, n. 220, settembre-dicembre 2017
Whose interests should be represented in democratic decisions? Whose rights ought to be protected by democratic governments? Who has a claim to citizenship and voting rights? Against most current normative theories of democracy, this essay argues that these three questions call for different responses. Democratic legitimacy requires taking into account the interests negatively affected by a decision, providing equal rights and contestation options for all subjected to the law, and granting citizenship status to all citizenship stakeholders whose autonomy and well-being depends on the collective self-government and flourishing of a particular democratic polity. Rainer Bauböck argues that these three responses complement each other but there are also tensions between them that can only be resolved through democratic politics rather than purely theoretical reasoning. The concluding part of the essay applies the principle of including all citizenship stakeholders to a multilevel conception of democracy. Citizenship as membership in local, national and supranational political communities is determined by residence, birthright and derivation respectively. Once again, Bauböck argues for regarding these three rules for determining citizenship as complementing each other, since each one supports a particular purpose of democratic community.