The Rights of Others and the Boundaries of Democracy
Title: The Rights of Others and the Boundaries of Democracy
Author: BAUBÖCK, Rainer
Citation: European Journal of Political Theory, 2007, 6, 4, 98-405
Benhabib argues that the tension between universal human rights and democratic self-determination cannot be resolved. Distinguishing between the principle of rights, on the one hand, and context-specific `schedules of rights', on the other hand, helps, however, to specify the scope of both norms. I show that applying this idea to questions of citizenship requires further elaboration in three respects: (1) Benhabib's argument for porous rather than open borders, which does not fully address the challenge of global distributive justice; (2) norms for access to citizenship, which need to cover also transnational affiliations between sending states and their external populations; and (3) necessary constraints on democratic self-determination. I suggest replacing the principle of self-determination with a principle of self-government that does not include a unilateral right to determine the territorial or membership boundaries of the polity
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