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Dorothea Gädeke: The Republican Concern with Domination

When:We 15-12-2021 15:15 - 17:00
Where:Faculty of Philosophy, room Omega (t.b.c. depending on Corona)

Colloquium lecture by Dorothea Gädeke (Utrecht), organized by the Department of Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy

The core contribution that the republican revival has made to contemporary political theory is, arguably, having placed the concern with domination centre-stage. However, a concern with domination is not exclusive to the republican tradition of political thought. For instance, anarchism or feminism also appeal to this concept. What is distinctive about the republican concern with domination is that it takes domination to describe asymmetric relations of power, which make some dependent on the will of others and thus deny them the equal status as free persons.

Yet, this status-based core of the republican concern with domination has been, or so I will argue, curiously neglected in contemporary republican theorizing. As I will show, both the earlier, largely freedom-based debates on the conception of domination as well as the more recent power-based approaches fail to fully grasp it. I argue that this neglect is rooted in a conceptual ambivalence of current republican theories of domination that jeopardize both, their distinctiveness and their social analytical value. And I will show how this can be remedied by reconceiving domination as a structurally constituted form of power.