Republicanism and/or Relational Egalitarianism?

Social Theory and Practice 48 (4):629-645 (2022)
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What is the relationship between republicanism and relational egalitarianism? According to Andreas Schmidt, republicanism, in particular Pettit’s theory of republicanism, is able to capture some relations as objectionable which relational egalitarianism cannot, to wit, relations of mutual domination. This shows that relational egalitarianism is inadequate. In this paper, I explore the relationship between republicanism and relational egalitarianism and argue, first, that Schmidt is wrong. Relational egalitarianism, on a plausible understanding, does object to relations of mutual domination. I then argue that relational egalitarianism, unlike republicanism, is able to capture why some relationships involving racism are objectionable. I end the paper by arguing that we should not see the views as competitors: republicanism, on a plausible understanding, provides a necessary condition of what it means to relate as equals, whereas relational egalitarianism provides necessary and jointly sufficient conditions of what it means to relate as equals.



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Andreas Bengtson
Aarhus University

Citations of this work

Relational Justice: Egalitarian and Sufficientarian.Andreas Bengtson & Lasse Nielsen - 2023 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 40 (5):900-918.
One Person, One Vote and the Importance of Baseline.Andreas Bengtson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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