Lynn Dobson
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Nexus, framework
Constituting authority
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This chapter posits citizenship as necessary to the polity’s democratic authority. Authority depends not on the form in which political power is embedded but rather on how it is constituted and exercised, so our thinking should not be driven by nation-state assumptions. In principle a wide array of forms of political organisation, including international, transnational, or supranational institutions, can be morally justified. What matters is how the political institutions conduce to the freedom and well-being of individuals. Further, it is argued that citizenship is not contingent upon but instead is intrinsic to the possibility and the constitution of legitimate democratic political authority. Citizens are the authors as well as the addressees of political rules. They exercise this agency through authorising representatives who are then accountable to citizens for their performance in discharging citizens’ responsibilities. Moreover, citizens’ political responsibilities extend beyond the territory over which the political bodies they authorise have jurisdiction; morality and thus duties are extra-territorial and inter-temporal.

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