Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2001

Publication Title

Review of Politics






Do employees possess a moral right to democratic voice at work? In A Preface To Economic Democracy and other writings over the past two decades, Robert Dahl has developed a neo-Kantian proof for the existence of such a right. Even if we accept the norm of distributive justice upon which Dahl founds his proof, voluntary subjection to authoritarian power in firms does not violate the legitimate entitlements of employees. While adult residents of territorial associations do possess a moral right to political equality, polities and firms are qualitatively different types of associations in which the entitlements of subjects are distinct. Subjection to power is acquired in different ways in the two kinds of associations, and this difference deprives employees—but not residents—of a right to democratic voice as a matter of moral desert.


Author Posting. © University of Notre Dame, 2001. This article is posted here by permission of the University of Notre Dame for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in The Review of Politics, Volume 63, Issue 2, 2001,

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.