Republicanism, a Radical View: The Question of Non-Dominated Labor

31 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 3 Aug 2010

See all articles by Alexander Gourevitch

Alexander Gourevitch

Brown University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2010


Neo-republicans agree that among the implications of a republican theory of liberty is that the socio-economic independence of the citizen be guaranteed. This commitment to socio-economic independence appears most clearly in the modern republican preoccupation with 'free labor.' Most neo-republicans believe that free labor is guaranteed through provision of a universal basic income, which ensures no particular employee is dependent upon or, in the language of neo-republicanism, 'dominated by,' any given employer. In contrast, I argue that this conclusion is based on an excessively narrow reading of the core problem of domination, and also misrepresents the modern republican tradition. Drawing on nineteenth century labor republicans, I argue that a republican understanding of the kind of economic independence guaranteeing 'non-dominated labor' involves two further principles: equal access to productive assets, and rights of residual control over the work activity.

Keywords: republicanism, liberty, labor, domination, republican liberty, freedom

JEL Classification: B1, B10, B14, B30, J20, J21, J54, P13, P32

Suggested Citation

Gourevitch, Alexander, Republicanism, a Radical View: The Question of Non-Dominated Labor (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Alexander Gourevitch (Contact Author)

Brown University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 1844
Providence, RI 02912
United States

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