The ethics of political participation : are citizens obligated to participate, and what exactly are they obligated to do?
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The aim of the dissertation is to show that, with few exceptions, citizens have a defeasible moral obligation to participate in politics. Moreover, the arguments presented in support of the thesis have an implication on how exactly one should participate: participation can take many different forms, but they all need to constitute democratic deliberation of one’s polity--the policy-making process guided by the exchange of reasons among citizens. In Chapter One, I clarify the thesis and frame the issue in terms of a challenge raised by a classical liberal consideration against the obligation to participate in politics. In Chapter Two, I argue that one should not defend the obligation to participate in democratic deliberation by thinking of democracy as a sort of shared value in democratic society. In Chapters Three and Four, I present two independent arguments for the thesis that citizens have a defeasible moral obligation to participate in democratic deliberation.