Democratic Justice and the Boundaries Problem
Political Studies Review
Reason for embargo
This article examines the way in which Albert Weale's procedural account of democratic justice understands: (1) the boundaries of the democratic social contract, in terms of who is included or excluded from the contract; and (2) the boundaries of justice (i.e. the scope of entitlements and obligations of justice) that result from the contract. Either Weale's empirical method justifies the problematic exclusion of certain groups of agents from the democratic contract and thus potentially from the scope of justice, or his method is not as empirical as Weale wants it to be, because in order to evaluate those exclusions as unjust and to prevent them, the theory needs to postulate thick moral standards that are independent from, and external to, democratic procedures. Furthermore, the boundaries of justice resulting from Weale's empirical-contractarian theory are likely to lead to the absence of justice where it would be most needed, especially at the international level. These concerns notwithstanding, Weale's book remains a highly significant contribution to both democratic theory and theories of justice, as well as to our understanding of the relationship between them.
Vol. 13 (2), pp. 196-206