September 2, 2022

CRITIQUE-PTRG Seminar For the Many, Not the Few: Anti-Oligarchic Republicanism – 12 October 2022, 3 pm

CRITIQUE – PTRG Seminar with Tom O’Shea (Edinburgh University).

Civic republicans are increasingly concerned about the problem of oligarchy. The leading approach in this respect has been a plebeian republicanism informed by Machiavellian ideas about class conflict, and which seeks to keep socio-economic elites in check by reviving the veto powers once held by Roman tribunes. I argue that the political and legal remedies that plebeian republicans pursue are insufficient, and that suppressing the domination of the many by the few is best secured through a socialist republicanism characterised by common ownership and workplace democracy. Both plebeian and socialist republicanisms face an important Marxist objection, however, which supposes that their focus on class conflict means they cannot account for the dominating effects of impersonal economic structures found within capitalist societies. I conclude by demonstrating that such fears are misplaced.

Pre-read, in person seminar (location 3.15 CMB). To receive the paper, please email