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Liberalism and Republicanism: Public Policy Implications

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 from 09:00 to 19:00 (GMT)

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In recent years there has been a growing interest among political theorists and philosophers in republican political thought. Influenced by the works of Quentin Skinner and Philip Pettit, proponents of this tradition typically claim it as a critical and superior alternative to mainstream liberal political theory. Yet it still remains unclear whether these two traditions are genuinely antagonistic. Historically, there is a considerable overlap in the canon of republicanism and liberalism. Theoretically, while past debates focused on different conceptions of liberty, contemporary work reveals some common ground between the two traditions.

This one-day conference aims to explore the relationship between liberal and republican political theory with regard to their public policy implications. In particular, the extent to which liberal and republican theory generate genuinely different public policy; whether or not it is possible to synthesise liberal and republican accounts; or rather, should clear demarcation be made between the two traditions?

For any questions please contact Lior Erez ( and Nick Martin (



8.30-9.00 - Registration and welcome coffee

9.00-9.15 – Opening remarks


9.15-10.45 - Panel 1: Rights, Law and Punishment

Chair: Prof. Richard Bellamy


Christopher Hamel (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Reworking Pettit’s republicanism on individual rights


Nikolas Kirby (Oxford)

The disappearance of republican liberty: what is the difference between a disinterested gentle giant and a deterred criminal?


Andrei Poama (Sciences Po/Yale)

Not just republicans: two problems for a republican theory of punishment

10.45-11.15 Coffee break


11.15-12.45 - Panel 2: Social Values, Neutrality and Perfectionism

Chair: Prof. Cecile Laborde


Gregory Whitfield (Washington University in St. Louis)

Perfectionism, liberal neutrality and republicanism


Tom Hannant (Queen Mary, London)

In defence of distinction: a case for maintaining a division between liberalism and republicanism in theory and practice


Gregory Walker (Open University)

Liberalism, republicanism and same-sex marriage

12.45-13.45 Lunch

13.45-15.15 - Panel 3: Non-Arbitrary Power and Social Protection

Chair: Prof. Albert Weale


Alan Coffee (King’s College, London)

Republican independence as equality and virtue. Part 1: Internal Diversity

Matthew Hall (Royal Holloway, London)

Power imbalances, domination and freedom - The case of data collection

15.15-15.30 Coffee break

15.30-17.00 - Panel 4: Justice in the Economic Sphere

Chair: Dr. John Filling


Maria Dimova-Cookson (Durham)

Liberty, welfare and social justice in the context of Pettit’s republicanism and Hobhouse’s new liberalism


Adam Fusco (York)

Freedom, the market, and citizenship: A republican sketch of the civic economy


Simon Cotton (Princeton)

Lovett's conception of non-domination and its implications for distributive justice: an egalitarian critique

17.00-17.30 Coffee break

17.30-19.00 Keynote speech


Dr. Stuart White (Oxford)

The liberal contribution to republican political theory

Closing Remarks

Do you have questions about Liberalism and Republicanism: Public Policy Implications? Contact the organiser
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When & Where

Council Room
School of Public Policy, Department of Political Science, University College London
29/30 Tavistock Square
WC1H 9QU London
United Kingdom

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 from 09:00 to 19:00 (GMT)

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Liberalism and Republicanism: Public Policy Implications
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