Neo-republicanism and the civic economy

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 5 (2):151-173 (2006)
Abstract
It is clear that a revival of republicanism is under way, but it is not clear that the republican tradition truly speaks to contemporary concerns. In particular, it is not clear that republicanism has anything of value to say about economic matters in the early 21st century. I respond to this worry by delineating the main features of a neo-republican civic economy that is, I argue, reasonably coherent and attractive. Such an economy will preserve the market, while constraining it to serve public purposes, and promote what John Rawls calls a ‘property-owning democracy’. To accomplish these ends, a civic economy is likely to concern itself with the character of work and the workplace, to take steps to preserve and protect the sense of community or publicity, to levy an inheritance tax and a progressive consumption tax, and to provide some kind of ‘social’ or ‘civic’ minimum of support to all citizens. Key Words: republicanism • equality • self-government • deliberative politics • civic virtue • publicity • markets • property-owning democracy • basic income • inheritance tax • consumption tax.
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DOI 10.1177/1470594X06064219
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