Republicanism is a centuries-old political tradition, yet its precise meaning has long been contested. The term has been used to refer to government in the public interest, to regimes administered by a collective body or an elected president, and even just to systems embodying the values of liberty and civic virtue. But what do we <i>really</i> mean when we talk about republicanism?
In this new book, leading scholar Rachel Hammersley expertly and accessibly introduces this complex but important topic. Beginning in the ancient world, she traces the history of republican government in theory and practice across the centuries in Europe and North America, concluding with an analysis of republicanism in our contemporary politics. She argues that republicanism is a dynamic political language, with each new generation of thinkers building on the ideas of their predecessors and adapting them in response to their own circumstances, concerns, and crises.
This compelling account of the origins, history, and potential future of one of the world’s most enduring political ideas will be essential reading for anyone with an interest in republicanism, from historians and political theorists to politicians and ordinary citizens.