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Article
Institutionalizing Freedom as Nondomination: Democracy and the Role of the State
Polity
  • David Watkins, University of Dayton
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
10-1-2015
Abstract
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 avoiding state domination of a part of it. Minimizing domination is simply too demanding and complex a task for us to rely on one institutional structure, no matter how well designed, to accomplish.
Inclusive pages
508-534
ISBN/ISSN
0032-3497
Document Version
Postprint
Comments

The item available for download following the publisher's embargo period is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedited version of an article published in Polity.

Permission documentation is on file.

Publisher
Northeastern Political Science Association
Peer Reviewed
Yes
Keywords
  • republicanism; nondomination; democratic theory; statism; Philip Pettit; civil society
Citation Information
David Watkins. "Institutionalizing Freedom as Nondomination: Democracy and the Role of the State" Polity Vol. 47 Iss. 4 (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/david_watkins/4/