Multiple citizenship: normative ideals and institutional challenges
Institutional suggestions for how to rethink democracy in response to changing state responsibilities and capabilities have been numerous and often mutually incompatible. This suggests that conceptual unclarity still reigns concerning how the normative ideal of democracy as collective self-determination, i.e. ‘rule by the people’, might best be brought to bear in a transnational and global context. The aim in this paper is twofold. First, it analyses some consequences of the tendency to smudge the distinction between democratic theory and moral theories of legitimacy and justice. Second, it develops a conceptual framework that distinguishes between necessary conditions, aspects and aims of democracy. On this basis it specifies three objectives of democracy, some of which may also hold for multilevel governance. It is argued that there are in principle at least three reasons to value democratic institutions: they are intrinsically justified to the extent that they distribute fair shares of political influence over decision-making; they are instrumentally justified to the extent that they secure several of our other best interests, one of which is our interest in non-domination; and finally, they are also instrumentally justified insofar as they secure the just distribution of other goods. The aim of this framework is not to develop a specific theory of multilevel governance but to point at important distinctions to be made and normative criteria to be specified. The intention is to take the debate forward by noting some of the issues that any satisfactory account must address. The framework lays out the grounds for analysing the institutional challenges facing legitimate multilevel governance through what is speculatively called ‘multiple citizenship’, understood in explorative terms, opening the door for the manifold roles that citizens could and ought to play in multilevel governance, not only as democratic agents, but also as agents of democracy and agents of justice.