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Edited by Hein-Anton van der Heijden
Chapter 3: Republican citizenship
While republican citizenship has never really gone away, it has recently undergone a deep and highly original revival of sorts. According to Pettit and others, republicanism offers a distinctive theory of citizenship based on an ideal of non-domination, a conception of freedom that is central to contemporary republicanism. On this account, to be free is to be free from arbitrary power, where such freedom provides the basis for a normative ideal of citizenship. At the same time, republican conceptions of citizenship also include protection from domination at a wider scale on the basis of a variety of institutional mechanisms, including new forms of political democracy. Here we might think of the emergence of participatory forms of deliberative democracy, which often require direct participation and new forms of majority rule. In this respect, such political forms allow for a more capacious form of republicanism, with a wider scale and broader scope for protection of all citizens from the harms of domination. Thus, these newer forms of republican non-domination develop an appealing conception of the benefits of political community. Most of all, this ideal of citizenship provides for various statuses and powers. These intersubjective statuses have broad implications for the ideal of citizenship, including ways in which geographical, racial and gender exclusions can be addressed. Thus, republicanism asks us to imagine a rich political world in which freedom consists of the absence of mastery by others.
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