Hostname: page-component-7479d7b7d-q6k6v Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-14T17:11:58.311Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

On the Demos and Its Kin: Nationalism, Democracy, and the Boundary Problem

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 September 2012

ARASH ABIZADEH*
Affiliation:
McGill University
*
Arash Abizadeh is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, McGill University, 855 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec, CanadaH3A 2T7 (arash.abizadeh@mcgill.ca).

Abstract

Cultural–nationalist and democratic theory both seek to legitimize political power via collective self-rule: Their principle of legitimacy refers right back to the very persons over whom political power is exercised. But such self-referential theories are incapable of jointly solving the distinct problems of legitimacy and boundaries, which they necessarily combine, once it is assumed that the self-ruling collectivity must be a prepolitical, in principle bounded, ground of legitimacy. Cultural nationalism claims that political power is legitimate insofar as it expresses the nation's prepolitical culture, but it cannot fix cultural–national boundaries prepolitically. Hence the collapse into ethnic nationalism. Traditional democratic theory claims that political power is ultimately legitimized prepolitically, but cannot itself legitimize the boundaries of the people. Hence the collapse into cultural nationalism. Only once we recognize that the demos is in principle unbounded, and abandon the quest for a prepolitical ground of legitimacy, can democratic theory fully avoid this collapse of demos into nation into ethnos. But such a theory departs radically from traditional theory.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

Abizadeh, Arash. 2001. “Ethnicity, Race, and a Possible Humanity.” World Order 33 (1): 2334.Google Scholar
Abizadeh, Arash. 2005a. “Does Collective Identity Presuppose an Other?American Political Science Review 99 (1): 4560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abizadeh, Arash. 2005b. “Was Fichte an Ethnic Nationalist?History of Political Thought 26 (2): 334–59.Google Scholar
Abizadeh, Arash. 2008. “Democratic Theory and Border Coercion.” Political Theory 35 (1): 3765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abizadeh, Arash. 2010. “Democratic Legitimacy and State Coercion.” Political Theory 38 (1): 121–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Agné, Hans. 2010. “Why Democracy Must Be Global.” International Theory 2 (3): 381409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anderson, Benedict. 1991. Imagined Communities. Rev. ed. London: Verso.Google Scholar
Appiah, Anthony. 1986. “The Uncomplicated Argument: Du Bois and the Illusion of Race.” In “Race,” Writing, and Difference, eds. Gates, H.L. Jr. and Appiah, K.A.. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2137.Google Scholar
Archibugi, Daniele, Held, David, and Köhler, Martin, eds. 1998. Re-imagining Political Community. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Arrhenius, Gustaf. 2005. “The Boundary Problem in Democratic Theory.” In Democracy Unbound, ed. Tersman, F.. Stockholm: Filosofiska Institutionen, Stockholm Universitet, 1429.Google Scholar
Bartelson, Jens. 2008. “Globalizing the Democratic Community.” Ethics and Global Society 1 (4): 159–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barth, Fredrik. 1969. “Introduction.” In Ethnic Groups and Boundaries, ed. Barth, F.. Boston: Little, Brown, 738.Google Scholar
Beckman, Ludvig. 2009. The Frontiers of Democracy. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Benhabib, Seyla. 2004. The Rights of Others. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brett, Annabel S. 2011. Changes of State. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Brubaker, Rogers. 1996. Nationalism Reframed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Canovan, Margaret. 1996. Nationhood and Political Theory. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
Canovan, Margaret. 2000. “Patriotism Is Not Enough.” British Journal of Political Science 30 (3): 413–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Christiano, Thomas. 1996. The Rule of the Many. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
Christiano, Thomas. 2006. “A Democratic Theory of Territory and Some Puzzles about Global Democracy.” Journal of Social Philosophy 37 (1): 81107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Christiano, Thomas. 2008. The Constitution of Equality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cohen, G.A. 2008. Rescuing Justice and Equality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Cohen, Jean L. 1999. “Changing Paradigms of Citizenship and the Exclusiveness of the Demos.” International Sociology 14 (3): 245–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cohen, Joshua. 1989. “Deliberation and Democratic Legitimacy.” In The Good Polity, eds. Hamlin, A. and Pettit, P.. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1734.Google Scholar
Dahl, Robert. 1979. “Procedural Democracy.” In Philosophy, Politics, and Society (5th Series), eds. Laslett, P. and Fishkin, J.. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 97133.Google Scholar
Darwall, Stephen. 2009. The Second-person Standpoint. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Derrida, Jacques. 1984. Otobiographies. Paris: Editions Galilée.Google Scholar
Elster, Jon. 1982. “Sour Grapes: Utilitarianism and the Genesis of Wants.” In Utilitarianism and Beyond, eds. Sen, A. and Williams, B.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 219–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fichte, Johann Gottlieb. [1808] 2005. Gesamtausgabe der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften: Werke 1808–1812, eds. Lauth, R., Fuchs, E., and Gliwitzky, H.. Vol. I, 10. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Germany: Frommann.Google Scholar
Fleischacker, Samuel. 1992. Integrity and Moral Relativism. Leiden, the Netherlands: E.J. Brill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fraser, Nancy. 2009. Scales of Justice. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Freeden, Michael. 1998. “Is Nationalism a Distinct Ideology?Political Studies 46: 748–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gasking, Douglas. 1960. “Clusters.” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 38 (1): 136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Geary, Patrick J. 2002. The Myth of Nations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Gellner, Ernest. 1983. Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Gilabert, Pablo. 2005. “The Substantive Dimension of Deliberative Practical Rationality.” Philosophy and Social Criticism 31 (2): 185210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goodin, Robert E. 2007. “Enfranchising All Affected Interests, and Its Alternatives.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (1): 4068.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Habermas, Jürgen. 1984. The Theory of Communicative Action. Vol. 1. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
Habermas, Jürgen. 1996. Between Facts and Norms. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Habermas, Jürgen. 2001a. “Constitutional Democracy.” Political Theory 29 (6): 766–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Habermas, Jürgen. 2001b. The Postnational Constellation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Hobsbawm, Eric J. 1992. Nations and Nationalism since 1780. 2nd ed.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holmes, Stephen. 1988. “Precommitment and the Paradox of Democracy.” In Constitutionalism and Democracy, eds. Elster, J. and Slagstad, R.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 195240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Honig, Bonnie. 2007. “Between Decision and Deliberation.” American Political Science Review 101 (1): 117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Horowitz, Donald L. 1985. Ethnic Groups in Conflict. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Hume, David. [1748] 1987. “Of the Original Contract.” In Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary, ed. Miller, E.F.. Rev. ed. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 3741.Google Scholar
Huntington, Samuel. 2004. Who Are We? New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
Kymlicka, Will. 2001. Politics in the Vernacular. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
List, Christian. 2011. “The Logical Space of Democracy.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 39 (3): 262–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
List, Christian, and Koenig-Archibugi, Mathias. 2010. “Can There Be a Global Demos?Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (1): 76110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
López-Guerra, Claudio. 2005. “Should Expatriates Vote?Journal of Political Philosophy 13 (2): 216–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martinet, André. 1963. “Preface.” In Languages in Contact, ed. Weinreich, U.. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
Martyn, David. 1997. “Borrowed Fatherland.” Germanic Review 72 (4): 303–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mason, Andrew. 2000. Community, Solidarity and Belonging. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Menocal, Maria Rosa. 2002. The Ornament of the World. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
Michelman, Frank I. 1997. “How Can the People Ever Make the Laws?” In Deliberative Democracy, eds. Bohman, J. and Rehg, W.. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Mill, John Stuart. [1867] 1977. Considerations on Representative Government. In The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, ed. Robson, J.M.. Vol. 19. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
Miller, David. 1995. On Nationality. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Miller, David. 2009. “Democracy's Domain.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 37 (3): 201–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mouffe, Chantal. 2000. The Democratic Paradox. London: Verso.Google Scholar
Näsström, Sofia. 2007. “The Legitimacy of the People.” Political Theory 35 (5): 624–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Näsström, Sofia. 2011. “The Challenge of the All-affected Principle.” Political Studies 59 (1): 116–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Owen, David. N.d. “Constituting the Polity, Constituting the Demos.” Ethics and Global Society. Forthcoming.Google Scholar
Patten, Alan. 2011. “Rethinking Culture.” American Political Science Review 105 (4): 735–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Przeworski, Adam. 1991. Democracy and the Market. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rawls, John. 1971. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Risse, Mathias. 2008. “‘Imagine There's No Countries’: A Reply to John Lennon.” Faculty Research Working Paper No. RWP08-020. Cambridge, MA: John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.Google Scholar
Schumpeter, Joseph A. 1976. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. 3rd ed.New York: Harper Torchbooks.Google Scholar
Shachar, Ayelet. 2009. The Birthright Lottery. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Shore, Cris. 2000. Building Europe. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Sieyès, Emmanuel J. [1789] 1970. Qu'est-ce que le Tiers état? Ed. Zapperi, R.. Geneva: Librairie Droz.Google Scholar
Simmons, A. John. 1979. Moral Principles and Political Obligation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Singer, Brian. 1996. “Cultural versus Contractual Nations.” History and Theory 35 (3): 309–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, Anthony D. 1986. The Ethnic Origins of Nations. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Smith, Anthony D. 1996. “Nationalism and the Historians.” In Mapping the Nation, ed. Balakrishnan, G.. London: Verso, 175–97.Google Scholar
Smith, Rogers M. 2008. “The Principle of Constituted Identities and the Obligation to Include.” Ethics and Global Politics 1 (3): 139–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stilz, Anna. 2011. “Nations, States, and Territory.” Ethics 121 (3): 572601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tamir, Yael. 1993. Liberal Nationalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Taylor, Charles. 1998. “The Dynamics of Democratic Exclusion.” Journal of Democracy 9 (4): 143–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tully, James. 1983. “Introduction.” In John Locke: A Letter Concerning Toleration, ed. Tully, J.. Indianapolis: Hackett, 116.Google Scholar
Whelan, Frederick G. 1983. “Prologue: Democratic Theory and the Boundary Problem.” In Nomos 25: Liberal Democracy, eds. Pennock, J.R. and Chapman, J.W.. New York: New York University Press, 1347.Google Scholar
Whelan, Frederick G. 1988. “Citizenship and Freedom of Movement: An Open Admissions Policy?” In Open Borders? Closed Societies? The Ethical and Political Issues, ed. Gibney, M.. New York: Greenwood Press, 339.Google Scholar
Wimmer, Andreas. 2008. “The Making and Unmaking of Ethnic Boundaries.” American Journal of Sociology 113 (4): 9701022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wolff, Robert Paul. 1976. In Defense of Anarchism. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
Wright, Crispin. 1989. “Wittgenstein's Rule-following Considerations and the Central Project of Theoretical Linguistics.” In Reflections on Chomsky, ed. George, A.. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Yack, Bernard. 2001. “Popular Sovereignty and Nationalism.” Political Theory 29 (4): 517–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ypi, Lea. N.d. “A Permissive Theory of Territorial Rights.” European Journal of Philosophy. Forthcoming.Google Scholar
Submit a response

Comments

No Comments have been published for this article.