A relatively short book that reviews both the historical and the contemporary republican tradition, written in an accessible and nontechnical style so as to appeal to a broad audience. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
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Related Articles about About Related Articles close popup. Constitutionalism Hume's Political Thought. General Overview The most important contemporary republican text is Pettit : this work was decisive in presenting the republican tradition as a unified and rigorous public philosophy that could address a wide range of contemporary issues and concerns in a compelling manner. How to Subscribe Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. Jump to Other Articles:.
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I fundamentally disagree with some of their assumptions, so it was only meh for me, but if you're into mainstream contemporary analytic democratic theory, I predict you'll like it. Republicanism and political theory. Critically assessing the historical credentials, conceptual coherence and normative proposals of republicanism, it brings together original contributions from leading international scholars.
The volume focuses on four main areas: liberty in the republican tradition; freedom as non-domination and its critics; the borders of republicanism; and new republican debates, reflecting upon the contribution that republicans have made to our understanding of political life. As one would expect, each essay is well-written and worth reading in its own right.
Republicanism in the History of Political Philosophy and Today
As a political ideal, the contemporary importance of republicanism is no longer in doubt. In particular, the debate between liberalism and republicanism looms large in the way that contemporary republicans have typically set out the position they hold. As a whole, then, the collection has two principal aims. The first is to examine a number of challenges to the coherence and distinctiveness of the central idea of freedom conceived of as non-domination. The second aim is to examine the application of republican principles within the contemporary political arena.
Both of these are important aims on which there is a lot to say, far more, indeed, than could be said in such a small volume. Nevertheless, and notwithstanding the quality of the articles themselves, the second aim is realised far more successfully than the first. Defending a distinctively republican ideal of freedom is, of course, a significant undertaking, to which four articles could never do justice.
All three aspects of this definition are important, but it is the notions of the capacity to interfere and the nature of arbitrariness that have come under most scrutiny from both critics and other republicans alike. First, it is not necessary for there to be actual interference for freedom to be limited, but only the potential for interference. Secondly, not all interference is said to limit freedom, but only arbitrary interference. To understand the distinctiveness of the republican position, both these aspects must be understood.
Kramer and Carter, however, are concerned only with the first part, the capacity to interfere.
In other words, they reject the distinction between arbitrary and non-arbitrary interference and consider what republicanism would be without it. By addressing only part of the republican picture, they are able to suggest a partial reconciliation between the concepts of non-interference and non-domination. Both Skinner and Pettit reject this conclusion, but do so without defending their idea of arbitrariness. The detailed discussion of the idea of the capacity to interfere in this collection is in itself very useful.
Nevertheless, it is a pity that the idea of arbitrariness is not discussed in the same depth in this first section, given the pivotal role this concept plays in the controversy between the rival traditions. Without a justification of this notion the distinctiveness of republicanism cannot be sustained. What this means is that the criteria by which a person is deemed to be free or unfree must be defined only by reference to the facts of the situation Pettit, p.
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For non- interference theorists, resilience is understood in terms of the probability of interference, whereas non-domination theorists define resilience by reference to the kinds of interference that are possible. Kramer and Carter each present a rich account of non-interference freedom. Pettit prefers to understand freedom by reference to the kinds of control that people have over others.