Why the All-Affected Principle Is Groundless

Andreas Bengtson, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


The all-affected principle is a widely accepted solution to the problem of constituting the demos. Despite its popularity, a basic question in relation to the principle has not received much attention: why does the fact that an individual is affected by a certain decision ground a right to inclusion in democratic decision-making about that matter? An answer to this question must include a reason that explains why an affected individual should be included because she is affected. We identify three such reasons in the literature – to wit, interest protection, self-government and welfare – and show why they all fail. We then propose two alternative reasons, equal relations and fairness, and show why they are also deficient. Surprisingly, the all-affected principle then appears groundless, which supports withholding belief in the all-affected principle or(/and) investing future research in identifying the thus-far unidentified reason why being affected grounds a claim to inclusion.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftJournal of Moral Philosophy
Vroegere onlinedatum6-jul-2021
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 6-jul-2021
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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