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Document Details :

Title: Equality and Democracy
Subtitle: The Problem of Minimal Competency
Author(s): BROOKS, Thom
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 14    Issue: 1   Date: March 2007   
Pages: 3-12
DOI: 10.2143/EP.14.1.2021809

Abstract :
In a recent article, Thomas Christiano defends the intrinsic justice of democracy grounded in the principle of equal consideration of interests. Each citizen is entitled to a single vote, equal in weight to all other citizens. The problem with this picture is that all citizens must meet a threshold of minimal competence. My argument is that Christiano is wrong to claim a minimum threshold of competency is fully consistent with the principle of equality. While standards of minimal competency may be justifiable, these standards justify political inequality. This paper explores the relationship between equality and democracy in terms of minimal competency, demonstrating how minimal competency is justified and why it is inegalitarian in interesting ways.

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