This Article takes up the question of “who counts?” with a three-part argument. The first part of the argument makes the case that citizenship in liberal democracies is subject to stresses caused by internal doctrinal conflict that result in the creation of semi-citizenship statuses that offer some individuals partial bundles of rights and semi-citizen statuses. Semi-citizenship is inevitable. The second part of the argument looks closely at how this affects the distribution of the political rights of citizenship: voting and representation. I make the argument that we ought not conflate voting and representation. Each is a distinct political right. People who cannot vote or do not vote are not necessarily entirely unrepresented. This is particularly evident if one takes seriously the trustee model of representation. The third part of the Article compares three different cases of semi-citizenship in which groups who are counted for the purposes of the census and legislative apportionment are not accorded the vote. I examine the cases of children, non-citizens, and felons, briefly illustrating how and why trusteeship serves the first two groups and fails the third. These conclusions bolster the case for treating trusteeship as a necessary component of a liberal democratic state and for treating it skeptically in circumstances in which the trusteeship is not clearly linked to the political capabilities of the population in question.
Elizabeth F. Cohen,
Dilemmas of Representation, Citizenship, and Semi-Citizenship,
St. Louis U. L.J.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.slu.edu/lj/vol58/iss4/7