What role do political philosophers have in democratic societies? Can normative theories harm? And how to avoid it? Philippe Van Parijs, Professor at the Hoover Chair of economic and social ethics, accepted to share his perspective on these and other questions on how to bridge facts and norms in democracy studies. This interview took place at the University of Zurich on February 19, 2016, after DemocracyNet.eu’s “Justice and Democracy: Assessing Political Legitimacy” workshop. It is a contribution to our 2015-2016 events series “Democracy: Bridging Facts and Norms.” Interview and jingle by Alice el-Wakil. Music “Sunday Lovers” by Monday Night Fever.