Democratic boundary: A complex account

Anno LIII, n. 221, gennaio-aprile 2018

Anno LIII, n. 221, gennaio-aprile 2018
Centro Einaudi
Articolo completo/Full text


In a world characterized by migratory fluxes and where political decisions are deeply interconnected a fine-grained analysis of the boundary of the demos and the requirements of citizenship is necessary to grant that political institutions embody democratic values. Rainer Bauböck dedicated his work to properly addressing these problems by defining the boundary of democracy and the requirements of citizenship and addressing these issues from both a theoretical and a practical standpoint. Democratic Inclusion is fundamental in this debate because Bauböck further attunes his account, providing one of the most complex and complete versions of democratic demos in the literature. Bauböck in fact claims that a proper account of demos cannot be grounded on a single principle (all-affected, all-subjected, or stakeholder) but on a plurality of criteria according to which every interest affected should be seriously taken into consideration during the deliberative process, all those who are subjected to coercion should be impartially treated by the authority that exercises this coercion, and those who have a stake in the flourishing of the political community should be granted equal political rights. Though I acknowledge the merits of this pluralistic view of democratic boundaries, I will point out some ambiguities that characterize Bauböck’s interpretation of the all-affected principle and I will suggest an account of a fluid demos, that is grounded on the all-subjected principle but overcomes the problems Bauböck ascribes to this criterion.