Honors Program

Honors in Philosophy

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Michael Allen

Thesis Professor Department

Philosophy and Humanities

Thesis Reader(s)

Michael Allen, Allen Coates, Colin Glennon


Maintaining the essential features of local democracy, representation and contestation, my theory allows for the representation of the interest of subpopulations in the global community by actors such as nongovernmental organization and intergovernmental organizations. I will begin by outlining what features are necessary for a theory’s consideration as democratic in nature. Then, relying upon democracy in a broad sense, it will be my aim to demonstrate that the right to democracy is universal human right. The following stage will provide the backing, by way of the moral progress of human rights, that the right to democracy is expressible by “importantly affected” subgroups in the global arena. The final stage of my conceptual defense will focus on the validation of representatives who have no institutional connection with the populations they represent.

With such established, the paper will proceed into a practical defense, discussing how claims made by actors can be accepted or rejected by represented subpopulations. It will then become necessary to demonstrate that the paternalistic claims made by representatives are incorporable into a democratic theory without forgoing the essence of democracy. To show this is feasible, methods of appealing paternalistic claims by way of international human rights courts will be explained. Finally, possibilities to mediate general feasibility issues will be explored.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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