Political Justification Through Democratic Participation: The Case for Conscientious Objection

Social Theory and Practice, 41(1), 2015

35 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2014

See all articles by Emanuela Ceva

Emanuela Ceva

University of Pavia, Department of Political and Social Sciences

Date Written: October 7, 2014

Abstract

On a proceduralist account of democracy, collective decisions derive their justification — at least in part — from the qualities of the process through which they have been made. To fulfill its justificatory function, this process should ensure that citizens have an equal right to political participation as a respectful response to their equal status as agents capable of self-legislation. How should democratic participation be understood if it is to offer such a procedural justification for democratic decisions? I suggest that, in order to overcome the structural procedural disadvantages affecting the actual, effective opportunities that citizens who hold nonmainstream views have to exercise their right to political participation, the enhancement of such opportunities requires securing space for contestation. Against this background, I vindicate the (currently underestimated) role of conscientious objection as a form of political participation.

Keywords: Democracy, participation, conscientious objection, civil disobedience, respect, justification

Suggested Citation

Ceva, Emanuela, Political Justification Through Democratic Participation: The Case for Conscientious Objection (October 7, 2014). Social Theory and Practice, 41(1), 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2506774

Emanuela Ceva (Contact Author)

University of Pavia, Department of Political and Social Sciences ( email )

Corso Strada Nuova, 65
27100 Pavia, 27100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www-3.unipv.it/webdsps/en/docente.php?id=ceva

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