The Workplace: A Forgotten Topic in Democratic Theory?

Kettering Review:51-57 (2009)
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Abstract

Early democratic theorists such as Kant considered the effects of being a servant or, in modern terms, an employee to be so negative that such dependent people should be denied the vote. John Stuart Mill and John Dewey also noted the negative effects of the employment relation on the development of democratic habits and civic virtues but rather than deny the franchise to employees, they pushed for workplace democracy where workers would be a member of their company rather than an employee. In spite of the continuing prevalence of the employment relation and the lack of workplace democracy, this topic now seems to be something of a "third rail" in deliberative democratic theory

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David Ellerman
University of Ljubljana

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