Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
RepublicanismA Theory of Freedom and Government$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philip Pettit

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198296423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198296428.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 July 2019

Republican Forms: Constitutionalism and Democracy

Republican Forms: Constitutionalism and Democracy

(p.171) Chapter 6 Republican Forms: Constitutionalism and Democracy

Philip Pettit

Oxford University Press

The republican state must not only seek to combat the effects of dominium in giving rise to domination, it must also guard against the domination that can be associated with the imperium of government. If the way in which government operates is not to be subject to manipulation on an arbitrary basis, then there are a number of constitutionalist conditions, which it must plausibly fulfil and these have also been identified as important in the republican tradition. They include the rule of law, the separation of power, and counter‐majoritarian safeguards. Not all discretion can be profitably removed, however, and the only way for a republican regime to guarantee that this exercise of discretion is not hostile to the interests and ideas of people at large, or of some section of the community, is to introduce systematic possibilities for ordinary people to contest the doings of government. This points us towards the ideal of a democracy, based not on the alleged consent of the people, but rather on the contestability by the people of everything that government does. A contestatory democracy will have to be deliberative, requiring that decisions be based on considerations of allegedly common concern, if there is to be a systematically available basis for people to challenge what the government does. It will have to be inclusive, making room for people from every quarter to be able to press challenges against legislative, executive, or judicial decisions. And it will have to be responsive to the contestations that are brought against government decisions.

Keywords:   constitution, contestation, counter‐majoritarian difficulty, democracy, domination, government, rule of law, separation of power

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .