Republicanism is generally said to promote virtue and equal political participation, yet many historical republics and republican theories endorse the hierarchical political participation of the upper and lower social classes and recommend a centralised executive power. Republican constitutions incorporate the authority of the nobles, the freedom of the people and the political power of one man. Cicero formulates this understanding of the republic, which endures in the ideas of Machiavelli and Montesquieu. I characterise this school of thought as conservative because it promotes the preservation of the social hierarchy, private property and stability. Moreover, it harnesses change by advancing a policy of expansion. I challenge the mainstream Cambridge School interpretation by tracing the trajectory of conservative republican ideas in the thought of Cicero, Machiavelli and Montesquieu. Few interpretations relate the republicanism of these three thinkers to each other, hence this reading contributes a new way of thinking about republicanism.
The Tradition of Republicanism and the Agrarian Question in Brazil
Heloisa Maria Murgel Starling
The article traces the reception of different strands of Republicanism in Brazil. French republicanism inspired authors such as Euclides da Cunha in his realization that a true Brazilian republic would only be achieved with the inclusion of its vast interior and its destitute population. But the reception of republicanism in Brazil also drew from Anglo-Saxon sources, which resulted also in an emphasis on the political nature of the community. American republicanism, with its conception of territorial expansion, land possession, and active economic participation added a further dimension to Brazilian republicanism. In particular, Teofilo Otoni's attempt to create a political community in the Mucury Valley was modeled after the ideals of American republicanism. Even if the Brazilian republicanism that emerged from the reception of these strands failed to impose its agenda over the political mainstream, it provided a unifying ideology for the opposition throughout the Second Empire and the First Republic, and still constitutes a source of inspiration for political reform and criticism.
Pablo Facundo Escalante
French republicanism is traditionally considered not only the logical outcome of the principles of 1789 but also their main political goal in the long term. Since the revolutionary outbreak, France would have been destined to become a republic, and the consecutive republican regimes that shaped its history seem to support that interpretation. However, considering the formidable weight of the centuries-old French royalist tradition, it is difficult to believe that the French gave up kingship once and for all in the span of the first three revolutionary years and that the First Empire, the Bourbon Restoration, the July Monarchy, and the Second Empire were political regimes imposed only by force, against the will of the French, who only wanted a republican form of government. Driven by these reflections, this article attempts to propose a different interpretation of French republicanism.
Caribbean Activism and the Invention of a National Memory of Slavery in France
Between 1998 and 2006, the memory of slavery in France developed from a marginalized issue into a priority of the state. This article examines the process in which community activists and state actors interacted with and against one another to integrate remembrance and the commemoration of slavery and its abolitions into a Republican national narrative. It focuses on a series of actions from the protests against the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in 1998 to the creation of the 10 May National Memorial Day to Slavery and Its Abolitions in 2006. Basing its analysis on oral history interviews and various publications, this article argues that “memory activists”—and particularly new anti-racist groups—mobilized the memory of slavery to address issues of community identity and resistance within the context of twenty-first-century republicanism. In so doing, they articulated a new kind of black identity in France.
The Building of a Free Commonwealth in Spinoza's Political Treatise
The aim of this article is to discuss how Spinoza’s Theological- Political Treatise and Political Treatise deal with the development of a free and pacific commonwealth, taking into account both a comparison with the irenic tradition of Erasmus and the original position of Spinoza’s republicanism within the Dutch context of that period. To approach this issue, comparing Spinoza’s idea of security with the Hobbesian one can also be useful in order to demonstrate that security and freedom are not antithetical in Spinoza (differently from Hobbes) but rather support each other. Consequently, the role of peace and concord within the Political Treatise shall be considered the result of a collective self-emendation process of social interactions and political institutions. In this perspective, Spinoza’s concept of peace seems a very original attempt to build a free political community, where democratic institutions are both the cause and effect of pacific (i.e., rational and harmonious, although not necessarily irenic) relationships among citizens.
This article examines the development of popular discourses of liberty as independence emerging from the struggles between peasants and landlords over the course of the late medieval and early modern periods. This discourse, relating to the aspirations of the dependent peasantry for free status, free tenure, and free labor, articulated a conception of independence that overlapped with the emerging republican discourse of the seventeenth century. However, whereas republicanism focuses almost exclusively on the arbitrary powers of the monarchical state, the popular tradition emphasizes freedom from the arbitrary powers of landlordism. After a brief introduction to the republican conception of liberty and a discussion of the dependent peasantry in England, the work of Gerrard Winstanley is presented as an innovative synthesis of popular and republican discourses of freedom as independence from the arbitrary powers of exploitation.
An Interview with Quentin Skinner
Javier Fernández Sebastián and Quentin Skinner
Quentin Skinner was interviewed by Javier Fernández Sebastián (Universidad del País Vasco, Spain) at the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales, Madrid, on March 29, 2006. This interview has appeared in Spanish translation in Historia y Política 16: 237-258 (2006).
In an effort towards developing a normative theory of federalism, this paper offers a critical assessment of the work of Will Kymlicka and Ferran Requejo in order to show the progress and failures of liberal nationalist authors on issues raised by the normative dimensions of federalism in Western multinational contexts. More exactly, the paper argues that both authors fail to give a complete theory of federalism because the liberal conception of self-determination as non-interference can only create superficial unity and contingent trust, especially in multinational contexts, where non-interference is to regulate relations between particular identities and conceptions of citizenship. Drawing on this critical assessment of liberal nationalism, I argue that the neo-republican ideal of non-domination, as developed by Philip Pettit (1997, 2012), provides us not only with the adequate normative heuristics to assess national rights of self-determination, but also international relations and the institutional conditions needed to create binding trust within multinational federal constellations.
Kant and Contemporary Peace Politics
This article criticizes an empirical reading of On Perpetual Peace. It is also equally critical of the approach taken by philosophically minded scholars to give preference to Kant's philosophical outlook. Instead, it focuses on the peculiar oscillation between the philosophical and political aspects of the essay. Contrary to current concerns to update the conceptual framework of On Perpetual Peace—to rescue it from becoming obsolete—its salient irony, which mediates between both aspects, is singled out as a clue to an interpretation which seeks to account for both of them. Thus, the essay can still be a source of inspiration for peace research.
Paternalism and Masculinity on the Republican Right in Interwar France, 1919-1939
"Des Hommes et des citoyens: Paternalism and Masculinity on the Republican Right in Interwar France, 1919-1939," explores the masculine ideals of France's three main right-of-centre republican parties during the interwar period: the Fédération républicaine, the Parti démocrate populaire, and the Alliance démocratique. These parties desired men to be determined, principled, inflexible, respectable, hard-working, selfless, paternalist, republican and nationalist, and to father as many legitimate children as possible. Moreover, a discourse of paternalism pervaded the republican right's rhetoric and ideology, thereby providing the basis for many of its policies, as well as an obstacle to those, including feminists, who wished to challenge the status quo. This paternalism was consonant with the parties' class position and commingled with a masculine conception of citizenship that underlay the parties' principles and obstructed proponents of women's suffrage.