Legal modes and democratic citizens in republican theory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


If we think of a distinctly republican rule of law how would that alter common distinctions in republican theory made between “law's” citizenship and “democracy's” citizenship? Citizenship, in republican theory, seeks to express through a language of rights and a process of institutional engagements the ways in which we might actualize freedom of the individual through freedom from arbitrary interference or nondomination (Skinner 2008, Pettit 1997) when we come together in collective association. Its main concern, therefore, is with defining the commonwealth or civil association. Republican freedom represents a distinct conception of freedom as nondomination where freedom consists not in the noninterference of others as in negative liberty, nor as self-mastery as in positive liberty, but rather in agency, in that agents are free when they engage in reflection and choice and are, thereby, as actors and authors, freed of the possibility of arbitrary interference, or domination by others. In this understanding the constrained interference for the common good in the form of shared laws is nonarbitrary and, therefore, does not violate the republican principle of freedom. In what follows, I explore and evaluate three legal modes of democratic citizens that correspond to this understanding of freedom and analyze these modes in regards to the core concern of constituting civil association for the common good through equal participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRepublican Democracy
Subtitle of host publicationLiberty, Law and Politics
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780748677597
ISBN (Print)9780748643066
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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