Journal article

Democratizing Global 'Bodies Politic': Collective Agency, Political Legitimacy, and the Democratic Boundary Problem

Terry MacDonald

Global justice: Theory, Practice, Rhetoric | Global Justice Network | Published : 2017


This article outlines a new approach to answering the foundational question in democratic theory of how the boundaries of democratic political units should be delineated. Whereas democratic theorists have mostly focused on identifying the appropriate population-group – or demos – for democratic decisionmaking, it is argued here that we should also take account of considerations relating to the appropriate scope of a democratic unit’s institutionalized governance capabilities – or public power. These matter because democratically legitimate governance is produced not only through the decision-making agency of a demos, but also through the institutionally distinct sources of political agency t..

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