The boundary dilemma

Benjamin Boudou

This project aims at investigating democratic justifications of borders. In his ongoing publications, Benjamin pursues three lines of argument. First, he reconstructs the ongoing debate on the ethics of immigration to explain how the ‘boundary dilemma’ arises, i.e. the difficulty of reconciling a clear justification for border controls with a solid defence of freedom and equality. Secondly, he argues that the main positions in this debate rely on methodological nationalism, i.e. they build their theories on a biased image of the political community. Thirdly, he makes the case for a pragmatist definition of democratic communities and argues that the various interests of members and non-members should equally be taken into account in order to ensure the participation of those whose interests are severely affected. He aims to develop a more thorough understanding of the ‘interests’ to be considered and a clearer defence of the relationship between having one’s interests affected and actual participation. Benjamin suggests that, far from being a utopian solution, the principle of affected interests can be incrementally implemented so as to make democratic boundaries more responsive to the domination of foreigners.
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