Liberty, Nondomination, Markets

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Over the past two decades, Philip Pettit has consistently argued for an understanding of “republican” liberty in terms of nondomination. Yet in his major published studies, he has almost nothing to say about markets, nor about the economy more generally. I contend that this is a seriously problematic omission, insofar as markets represent a major problem for republican views of freedom. In short: if freedom requires the absence of the mere possibility of arbitrary interference (as Pettit maintains), then the widespread existence of markets indicates that on a republican view the vast majority of people in the world today exist in the dominated position of slaves. As a result, Pettit cannot adopt the “complacency” towards market transactions that he officially avows. But in turn, we ought to be highly skpetical that the republican account of freedom is a viable one.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-434
Number of pages26
Issue number3
Early online date22 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2019


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