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Comparative Politics Commons

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University of Dayton

Political Theory

Republicanism; nondomination; democratic theory; statism; Philip Pettit; civil society

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Institutionalizing Freedom As Nondomination: Democracy And The Role Of The State, David Watkins Oct 2015

Institutionalizing Freedom As Nondomination: Democracy And The Role Of The State, David Watkins

Political Science Faculty Publications

This article critically examines neo-republican democratic theory, as articulated by Philip Pettit, with respect to its capacity to address some of the pressing challenges of our times. While the neo-republican focus on domination has great promise, it mistakenly commits to the position that democracy—the primary tool with which we fight domination—is limited to state activity. Examining this error helps us make sense of two additional problems with his theory: an overestimation of the capacity of legislative bodies to identify sufficient responses to practices of domination, and the potential conflict between avoiding state domination of the general citizenry and ...