Should socialists be republicans?

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (forthcoming)
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This paper presents a critique of left republican writings from a non-republican socialist standpoint. It examines three claims that have been advanced by left republican authors: that workers are dominated 1) by their lack of access to the means of production; 2) by the market; and 3) by their employer. With regard to 1) and 2), it argues that alternative conceptions of freedom can identify the unfreedom in question, and that there are good reasons for pressing these complaints on the basis of these alternative conceptions. With regard to 3), it argues that, while alternative conceptions of freedom may be able to identify the unfreedom in question, republican freedom provides a more suitable basis for pressing this claim. It concludes that while left republicans have shown that socialists have reason to care about republican freedom, they have not shown that socialists should adopt republican freedom at the expense of other conceptions of freedom.

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Jan Kandiyali
Durham University


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