Democracy is rule by the demos, but by what criteria is the demos constituted? Theorists of democracy have tended to assume that the demos is properly defined by national boundaries or by the territorial boundaries of the modern state. In a recent turn, many democratic theorists have advanced the principles of affected interests and coercion as the basis for defining the boundaries of democracy. According to these principles, it is not co-nationals or fellow citizens but all affected or all subjected to coercion who constitute the demos. In this paper, I argue that these recent approaches to the boundary problem are insufficiently attentive to the conditions of democracy. Democracy is not merely a set of procedures; it also consists of substantive values and principles. Political equality is a constitutive condition of democracy, and solidarity is an instrumental condition of democracy. The affected interests and coercion principles create serious problems for the realization of these conditions – problems of size and stability. Building on this critique, this paper presents democratic considerations for why the demos should be bounded by the territorial boundaries of the state, grounded in the state's role in (1) securing the constitutive conditions of democracy, (2) serving as the primary site of solidarity conducive to democratic participation, and (3) establishing clear links between representatives and their constituents. I examine and reject a third alternative, a global demos bounded by a world state, and conclude by considering some practical implications of my argument.