Is Neo-Republicanism Bad for Women?


  • M. Victoria Costa


The republican revival in political philosophy, political theory, and legal theory has produced an impressive range of novel interpretations of the historical figures of the republican tradition. It has also given rise to a variety of contemporary neo-republican theories that build on its historical themes. Although there have been some feminist discussions of its historical representatives, neo-republicanism has not generated a great deal of enthusiasm among feminists. The present paper examines Phillip Pettit's theory of freedom as nondomination in order to assess its potential usefulness for those with feminist goals. It defends Pettit's account of interpersonal domination from certain feminist objections, but argues that his account of state domination needs to be amended if it is fully to protect the interests of women and other groups.