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Individual Rights and the Democratic Boundary Problem

Cabrera, Luis
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Boundary problems arguably are primary in democratic theory. Until we settle who ‘the people’ are, numerous questions around rule by the people cannot themselves be settled. Recent accounts have advocated extending participatory boundaries outward, up to the fully global level, in order to better match decision makers to decision takers in a more integrated global system, or to appropriately account for coercion to which all are said to be subjected. Some critics of these accounts would give much stronger emphasis to national or other bonds between democratic participants. They would limit inclusion and participation accordingly. Defended here is an approach that is focused on enhancing individual rights protections through extending political boundaries. It would challenge the idea, implicit in ‘all-affected’ and ‘all-subjected’ approaches, that expanding the franchise is the appropriate tool for protecting participants’ vital interests. It challenges also any strong necessity claims for shared national sentiment to sustain democratic rule. The case of Turkish accession to the European Union is given some attention, for ways in which it highlights issues around the rights protections at stake, as well as ways in which some problematic identity questions lie at the root of much resistance to boundary extensions. While the application of a rights-based approach to the boundary problem will not be so straightforward in all cases, the approach can significantly inform participatory inclusion and institutional design at various levels of governance.

Date :2012 (Completion)
Faculty :
Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department :Department of Political Science and International Studies
Subjects : JA Political science (General)
ID Code :1655
Submitted :22 May 2012 14:16
Last Modified :09 Jul 2011 16:00


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