Protecting Democracy by Commingling Polities: The Case for Accepting Foreign Influence and Interference in Democratic Processes

In Duncan B. Hollis & Jens David Ohlin (eds.), Defending Democracies: Combating Foreign Election Interference in a Digital Age. Oxford University Press. pp. 93-114 (2021)
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This chapter criticizes several methods of responding to the techniques foreign powers are widely acknowledged to be using to subvert U.S. elections. It suggests that countries do this when they have a legitimate stake in each other’s political deliberations, but no formal voice in them. It also suggests that if they accord each other such a voice, they will engage as co-deliberators with arguments, rather than trying to undermine each other’s deliberative processes; and that this will be salutary for all parties. It moots several methods for giving nations such a voice, ranging from inviting representatives of foreign powers to participate in debates in each other’s high-level elections, to having representatives of all nations vote in each other’s key elections or legislative bodies, or in international bodies constituted in recognition of the need for binding global deliberation about shared issues.

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Duncan MacIntosh
Dalhousie University


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