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Republican freedom and the rule of law

List, Christian ORCID: 0000-0003-1627-800X (2006) Republican freedom and the rule of law. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, 5 (2). pp. 201-220. ISSN 1470-594X

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1470594X06064222


At the core of republican thought, on Philip Pettit’s account, lies the conception of freedom as non-domination as opposed to freedom as non-interference in the liberal sense. I revisit the distinction between liberal and republican freedom and argue that republican freedom incorporates a particular rule-oflaw requirement, whereas liberal freedom does not. Liberals may also endorse such a requirement, but not as part of their conception of freedom itself. I offer a formal analysis of this rule-of-law requirement and compare liberal and republican freedom on its basis. While I agree with Pettit that republican freedom has broader implications than liberal freedom, I conclude that we face a trade-off between two dimensions of freedom – scope and robustness – and that it is harder for republicans to solve that trade-off than it is for liberals.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2006 SAGE Publications Ltd
Divisions: Government
Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2008 13:21
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2024 16:54

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