Republicanism and Geopolitical Domination

Journal of Political Power 4 (2):279-300 (2011)
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Abstract

Philip Pettit’s neo-Roman republican theory of non-domination is billed as a more egalitarian alternative to classical liberal theories of non-interference. As a theory of geopolitical affairs, however, his republicanism fails to fulfill this egalitarian promise in ways that closely echo John Rawls’s liberal law of peoples. Pettit’s republican law of peoples is ill equipped to address structural sources of transnational and global domination because it exaggerates the ontological separateness of peoples, it overvalues the self-sufficiency of states for purposes of achieving internal non-domination, and it conceives of domination too narrowly as an evil that must be intentionally or negligently imposed by identifiable agents.

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Mark Rigstad
Oakland University

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