Social Theory and Practice


published on November 7, 2020

Jonas Hultin Rosenberg

The All-Affected Principle Reconsidered

The all-affected principle, by which all those affected by the policies of the state ought to be included in the demos governing it, is often considered prima facie attractive but, upon closer examination, implausible. The main alternative, according to which all those and only those affected by possible consequences of possible decisions ought to be included in the demos, is equally implausible. I suggest a reformulated principle: the demos includes all those affected by foreseeable consequences of decisions that the state has legal authority and capacity to take. This avoids the problems of the standard version and the main alternative.