Socialist Republicanism

Political Theory 48 (5):548-572 (2020)
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Socialist republicans advocate public ownership and control of the means of production in order to achieve the republican goal of a society without endemic domination. While civic republicanism is often attacked for its conservatism, the relatively neglected radical history of the tradition shows how a republican form of socialism provides powerful conceptual resources to critique capitalism for leaving workers and citizens dominated. This analysis supports a programme of public ownership and economic democracy intended to reduce domination in the workplace and wider society. I defend this socialist republicanism from both the Marxist objection that it overlooks the impersonal nature of domination under capitalism and the left-liberal objections that property-owning democracy or worker codetermination are sufficient to suppress dominating relationships. The resulting position identifies the need for more ambitious institutional grounds for republican liberty than is often supposed, while offering us a distinctive emancipatory justification for socialism.

Author's Profile

Tom O'Shea
University of Edinburgh


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