UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Republicanism, Democracy and History

Bellamy, R; Weale, A; (2023) Republicanism, Democracy and History. In: Krause, Skadi Siiri and Jörke, Dirk, (eds.) Republicanism and Democracy: Close Friends? (pp. 221-236). Springer Nature

[thumbnail of Bellamy_Republicanism, Democracy and History_chapter_AAM.pdf] Text
Bellamy_Republicanism, Democracy and History_chapter_AAM.pdf
Access restricted to UCL open access staff until 30 November 2024.

Download (188kB)


Modern republican theory as presented by Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner rests upon a particular set of interpretations of the history of political thought. In particular, it is claimed, Hobbes’s redefinition of liberty as the absence of interference, subsequently taken up by Bentham and other utilitarian and liberal theorists, eclipsed the older republican notion in which the freedom of citizens was necessarily tied to the freedom of the state of which they were members. This liberal account of liberty is then contrasted with the more democratic republican account, in which political participation is intrinsically linked to freedom from mastery. However, the historiography of this claim proves problematic. On the one hand, it overlooks the prominent role played by utilitarian and liberal assumptions and principles in the democratic arguments of philosophic radicals in the nineteenth century. On the other hand, it involves excluding Rousseau and Kant, central figures in the continental republican tradition, from the republican canon because of the way they drew on Hobbes’ account of sovereignty to develop an argument for a democratic social contract. Both these historical developments suggest that the liberal account of freedom may be less inimical to democracy and republicanism than modern republican thinkers such as Pettit, have claimed. Indeed, we suggest the second may offer the basis of the most compelling defence of democracy understood in republican terms.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Republicanism, Democracy and History
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-15780-6_10
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-15780-6_10
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Republicanism, Democracy, Pettit, Skinner, Bentham, Hobbes, Rousseau
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10163149
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item