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Contemporary political theorists who take a delineative approach are, to their credit, almost invariably normatively maximizing, looking to include as many as can possibly be sustained and to exclude as few as possible.
The curious and telling thing about the apparent dominance of the delineative approach to political membership in political thought--and its separation from the associative mode--is just how extensively the confrontation between the two modes permeates the range of political thought, even when it is not explicitly citizenship that is front and center.
Here, the purpose of establishing the basic conditions for overlapping consensus is refreshingly clear: to ensure stability for "social unity sustained in long-run equilibrium." Thus, the Rawlsian question of who can participate in consensus building presents perhaps the most open moment in contemporary political thought of the delineative function setting the terms for the rest of the debate: what kind of citizens do we need participating in the public discourse if we are going to achieve an overlapping consensus that can ensure a stable, liberty-preserving political order?
The difficulty is that although republican arguments about citizenship do entail a delineative dimension, the meager delineative arguments that appear systematically lack precisely that which liberalism's delineative account highlights as necessary: a principled connection between the particular rights a citizen bears, and the qualities of the citizen so delineated.
These two ways of thinking about the function of citizenship leave political theory at an apparent deadlock, between a delineative approach that demands institutional specificity and political viability, and an associative approach that demands sensitivity to the needs of polity as community.
The principle he provides, in the abstract, is a delineative translation of his agonism's emphasis on the question of mastery as the basis for political rule: that the "quality requisite to [citizenship], apart from the natural one (of not being a child or a woman) is only that of being one's own master (sui iuris), hence of having some property." He concedes, however, in one of the more logically tortured footnotes of his entire oeuvre, after trying to explain why tailors can be citizens but wood choppers cannot, that "it is, I admit, somewhat difficult to determine what is required in order to be able to claim the rank of a human being who is his own master" (8:295n).
Even if it remains the bare logical bones of the argument without the substance of the necessary attendant connection, the necessity of being one's own master to exercise the rights of the citizen still provides the second half of why this shaky attempt to articulate a notion of the citizen is a species of the broader tension between the delineative and associative dimensions of citizenship.
And yet, in [section]46 when he turns to his account of citizenship directly, Kant attempts to smuggle the old delineative distinctions from "On the Common Saying" back in.
When read alongside contemporary theories of citizenship and their own struggles to reconcile the associative and delineative ways of thinking about political membership, however, the tensions and failing in Kant's account suggest something stronger.
Young's way of framing the demands of deliberation leaves open the possibility of a critique of the delineative approach from the standpoint of the necessities of deliberation itself, through a sustained emphasis on the cultivation of "local publics ...
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