An attempt to synthesize neo-republican and socialist thought

  • Robert Donoghue University of Bath
Keywords: socialism, neo-republicanism, domination, exploitation, freedom, emancipation


The republican revival of recent decades, spearheaded by thinkers like Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner, has brought forth many interesting questions. This article takes up one such inquiry: what is the relationship between neo-republicanism and socialism? On the one hand, there appears to be a number of striking similarities between these social philosophies, such as their shared principal commitment to the liberation of people. On the hand, however, a number of philosophers have questioned whether an allyship between them is theoretically sound. In what follows is an attempt to fuse these philosophies into a singular project under the heading of ‘emancipationism’. In so doing, it will be shown that not only are neo-republicanism and socialism mutually compatible, they are, in fact, incomplete without one another. Each of these traditions focuses on the eradication of a particular evil. Whereas neo-republicanism tends to highlight the problem of domination, the socialist tradition emphasizes the need to abolish exploitation. Thus, it will be shown that by conjoining the core commitments of these social philosophies, and the language both traditions employ when condemning domination and exploitation respectively, a stronger theory of social justice (or freedom) emerges.