- Entries A-Z
A political philosophy that favors the governance of a nation through an emphasis on liberty, the rule oflaw, popular sovereignty, and civic virtue. Nations ruled through this ideology are called republics or commonwealths.
Republicanism envisions liberty as the absence of domination by either private individuals or the institutions of the state. Promotion of liberty is the ideal goal of republicanism.
The rule of law means that governance is by laws and not the arbitrary whims of individuals. Republicanism does not, therefore, favor nations ruled by monarchies, oligarchies, or dictators. The law, which is the coercive tool of the state, necessarily involves interference and, at least potentially, has the capacity to infringe on people's liberty. But the law is an exercise of [Page 448]domination only if the interference ...