Domination and democratic legislation

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 21 (2):97-121 (2022)
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Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Volume 21, Issue 2, Page 97-121, May 2022. Republicans hold that people are unfree if they are dominated, that is, if others have an insufficiently constrained ability to frustrate their choices. Since legislation can frustrate individuals’ choices, republicans believe that the design of legislative institutions has consequences for individual freedom. Some have argued that if legislative institutions are democratic, then they need not be sources of domination at all. We argue this view is incorrect: the introduction of legislative authority, even if democratically organized, always creates a new site of domination. However, republicans can defend democratic procedures as the best means of minimizing the degree to which citizens are dominated, subject to the constraint of equalizing everyone’s freedom. We formulate and prove this claim within a simple model of legislative authority and domination.



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Sean Ingham
University of California, San Diego

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Group agency: the possibility, design, and status of corporate agents.Christian List & Philip Pettit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Philip Pettit.
Republicanism: a theory of freedom and government.Philip Pettit (ed.) - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government.Philip Pettit - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):415-419.
Liberty before Liberalism.Quentin Skinner - 2001 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 63 (1):172-175.

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