Martin McIvor
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Republicanism, socialism and the renewal of the left

During the nineteenth century, republican political ideas about the forms of law and government were gradually displaced on the European left by a concern with economic relationships and ultimately a commitment to some notion of collective ownership of the means of production. Stuart White has developed a fascinating line of work that links the political aspirations of republicanism and the 'property-owning democracy' with the real-world experiments in 'citizens' income', 'asset-based welfare' and 'stakeholderism' being developed by centre-left governments around the world today. Domination is a predicament of dependence upon the will of another, while true liberty consists in self-government. Republican ideas seem to promise a route back to the values of freedom and democracy that the twentieth-century left seemed too often to lose touch with, at the same time as offering a viable and sophisticated defence of political activism and social commitment that could prove newly resonant for contemporary audiences.

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In search of social democracy

Responses to crisis and modernisation


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