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By José Luis Martí

This booklet examines an not going improvement in sleek political philosophy: the adoption by means of an enormous nationwide executive of the tips of a residing political theorist. whilst Jos Luis Rodrguez Zapatero grew to become Spain's competition chief in 2000, he pledged that if his socialist occasion gained energy he might govern Spain according to the rules specified by Philip Pettit's 1997 e-book Republicanism, which provided, instead to liberalism and communitarianism, a idea of freedom and executive in response to the belief of nondomination. while Zapatero used to be elected President in 2004, he invited Pettit to Spain to provide a massive speech approximately his rules. Zapatero additionally invited Pettit to watch Spanish politics and convey a type of file card sooner than the subsequent election. Pettit did so, returning to Spain in 2007 to make a presentation within which he gave Zapatero's govt a certified thumbs-up for selling republican beliefs. during this ebook, Pettit and Jos Luis Mart give you the old historical past to those strange occasions, clarify the rules of civic republicanism in available phrases, current Pettit's document and his reaction to a couple of its critics, and comprise an intensive interview with Zapatero himself. moreover, the authors speak about what's required of a political philosophy whether it is to play this type of public function that civic republicanism has been enjoying in Spain. an enormous account of an extraordinary and memorable stumble upon among modern political philosophy and real-world politics, this can be additionally an important paintings of political philosophy in its personal correct.

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Extra info for A Political Philosophy in Public Life: Civic Republicanism in Zapatero's Spain

Example text

The republican flame passed to the English-speaking world in the seventeenth century when the “commonwealth” tradition, which was forged in the experience of the English Civil War, established and institutionalized the view that king and people each lived under the discipline of the same law. Monarchy did not have to be done away with, in this version of republicanism, but it had CIVIC REPUBLICAN THEORY╅╇ 41 to be made part of a constitutional order, and not allowed to become a center of absolute power.

This is, in the end, what to be undominated means. A free citizen, in that sense, is able to require 18╅╇ CHAPTER 1 respect from others and to feel equal to them, to enjoy the same dignity and status, independent of economic, cultural, or personal differences (Pettit 1997, 166). Pettit reminded Zapatero that the government’s first obligation is to keep some individuals from being subjected to the will of other individuals, that is, to protect against private domination. But a second obligation, he argued, is no less important: to avoid public domination in the exercise of public power by government.

The other is the public power of the state itself, a power that they described as imperium. What they looked for was a dispensation of public power—a pattern of government— that would guard people against the private power of others, and so against domination by others, but would not itself become a dominating power in their lives: it would not have the aspect of a master (Kriegel 1995). Freedom as Nondomination To be against domination, however, may not seem to be the same as to be in favor of freedom.

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