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Cass R. Sunstein on Neo-Republicanism - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 175
Neo-Republicanism/Sunstein/Dagger: Republican political institutions, (...), must ensure the political equality of self-governing citizens. To this end, neorepublicans call for a more deliberative form of politics.As Cass Sunstein puts it, 'republicans will attempt to design political institutions that promote discussion and debate among the citizenry; they will be hostile to systems that promote lawmaking as "deals" or bargains among self-interested private groups' (1988(1): 1549).
Dagger: this is not to say that republicans believe that citizens would easily or quickly
come to agreement about what the common good requires if only government could be freed from the stranglehold of interest groups. The point, instead, is that reviving the republican conception of politics as the public business means rejecting the 'economic model' of politics, according to which individuals and groups bring their preferences, already fixed, to the political marketplace, where they use their political capital and bargaining power to strike the best deals for themselves. On the republican view, politics of this sort is a form of corruption that reduces the citizen to a consumer seeking to promote his or her personal interests. Steps must be taken, then, to limit the power of private interests, to prepare people through civic education to take the part of the public-spirited citizen, and to provide them with arenas or forums in which they may engage in debate and deliberation on the public business.


1. Sunstein, Cass (1988) 'Beyond the republican revival'. Yale Law Journal, 97 (July): 1539-89.

Dagger, Richard 2004. „Communitarianism and Republicanism“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Sunstein I
Cass R. Sunstein
Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge Oxford 2008

Sunstein II
Cass R. Sunstein
#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media Princeton 2017

Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-06-15
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