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This article examines the recent turn to the all-affected principle as a means to determine the proper boundaries of the people. The popularity of the principle notwithstanding, it argues that many of its proponents are prone to underestimating the challenge it raises to contemporary political theory. More specifically, two claims are made. Firstly, it argues that we must distinguish between two principles which, while both relating to the question of people-making, do so under radically different conditions: the all-subjected principle and the all-affected principle. Secondly, it argues that while the all-affected principle is a popular device in debates on cosmopolitan democracy it does not have a singular meaning. The all-affected principle in fact has three distinct roles to play, those of diagnosing, generating and justifying the boundaries of the people. The latter is the most difficult to account for in so far as it draws proponents of the all-affected principle into the very conflict that they set out to assess. It is concluded that this circumstance calls for a reorientation of the current debate, both with regard to the characterisation of the conflict under consideration and the challenge it raises to contemporary political theory.