Including Outsiders: Diaspora Institutions and the Boundary Problem in Democratic Theory
- Date: 19 April, 10:30–12:00
- Location: Lewinsalen, Östra Ågatan 19 (3rd Floor), Uppsala
- Lecturer: Ashwini Vasanthakumar, Lecturer in Politics, Philosophy & Law at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London
- Organiser: Uppsala Forum and the Department of Government at Uppsala University
- Contact person: Stella Marceta
Increasingly, states extend recognition and voice to their emigrants settled abroad through a variety of diaspora institutions. Although there has been a rapid increase in formal emigrant inclusion, and the impact of emigrant diasporas is well-documented, there is relatively little normative scrutiny of such inclusion. For the most part, diaspora inclusion is treated as an expansion of democratic norms that promotes democratic legitimacy and transnational governance. I challenge this view. I treat diaspora inclusion as an instantiation of the boundary problem in democratic theory, which determines who is entitled to a say in collective decision-making. I survey prominent principles of inclusion in the literature and argue that none of these can ground diaspora inclusion and indeed they may tell against it. Instead, I argue, the context of diaspora inclusion illuminates other values the boundary problem animates. I argue that diaspora inclusion may be required by justice, permitted as an exercise of collective autonomy, or prohibited as a matter of democratic legitimacy.