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Title: The paradox of democratic equality : democracy and transnational justice
Author: Savage, Deborah
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis explores the relationship between democratic theory and transnational justice. These two theoretical frameworks are connected but in tension; this is relationship is explicated by 'the paradox of democratic equality': that democratic theory has normative logics of both inclusion, inclining it towards universalist conceptions of justice based on human equality, and exclusion, because clear demarcations of the boundaries of membership of democratic associations seem to be preconditions of understanding the demos as a self- determining collective moral agent. The claim is that the concept of human equality can be a conceptual bridge between normative democratic theory and the idea of transnational justice. To give an account of the proper relationship of democracy and transnational justice, this research explores this paradox. I examine the role of human equality as a foundation for political equality - thus crucial to the justification of democracy itself - and for relational accounts of democratic association. I then examine typical cosmopolitan accounts of universal obligations and conclude that cosmopolitanism makes a moral case democratic theory ought to find compelling but overlooks essential features of democratic association, including those that enable democracies to act as agents of justice in the way cosmopolitans assume they should. To resolve the paradox and develop a plausible theory of democratic transnational justice, I develop an account of democratic moral agency based on the concept of collective moral reactive attitudes. Moral reactive attitudes, I argue, can give us an understanding of human equality as an immanent quality in human relations; interpreted collectively, this gives a basis for understanding how universal moral equality can be incorporated in the self-understanding of the demos. I then propose a conception of democratic cosmopolitanism, understood as transnational fraternity, and based on a principle of a responsibility to uphold and further the capacity for collective self-determination of other demoi.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available