Neorepublicanism: A Normative and Institutional Research Program
Posted: 8 Aug 2009
Date Written: August 6, 2009
Neorepublicanism may be defined as the attempt by current political scientists, philosophers, historians, lawyers, and others to draw on a classical republican tradition in the development of an attractive public philosophy intended for contemporary purposes. Three main ideas have been especially prominent in the neorepublican literature. First and most important is the conception of a free person as one who does not live under the arbitrary will or domination of others. Second is the associated conception of a free state as one that attempts to promote the freedom of its citizens without itself coming to dominate them. And third is the conception of good citizenship as consisting in a vigilant commitment to preserving the state in its distinctive role as an undominating protector against domination. The aim of the neorepublican research program is to rethink issues of legitimacy and democracy, welfare and justice, public policy and institutional design, from within the framework that these basic ideas provide.
Keywords: republicanism, freedom, liberty, domination, rule of law, constitutionalism, democracy
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