Non-domination and constituent power: Socialist republicanism versus radical democracy


Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. Two of the dominant frameworks for criticizing capitalism and liberal democracy in contemporary political theory is Socialist republicanism, on the one hand, and radical democracy, on other hand. Whereas radical democratic thinkers have for decades criticized liberal democracy for being elitist, hierarchical and outright anti-popular, socialist republicans have for the last 10 years developed critiques of capitalism centred on the neo-republican idea of freedom as non-domination and proposed various arguments for workplace democracy and cooperative forms of ownership. Despite the common ambition of uncovering hierarchical relations of economic, political and social power, and creating new egalitarian and participatory modes of political organization, no systematic comparison of socialist republicanism and radical democracy exists. This paper fills this gap by comparing the different understandings of institutions and political action and their diverging historical and political relations to socialism.

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