Lars Moen


Institutions promoting republican freedom as non-domination are commonly believed to differ significantly from institutions promoting negative freedom as non-interference. Philip Pettit, the most prominent contemporary defender of this view, also maintains that these republican institutions are neutral between the different conceptions of the good that characterise a modern society. This paper shows why these two views are incompatible. By analysing the institutional requirements Pettit takes as constitutive of republican freedom, I show how they also promote negative freedom by reducing overall interference. To avoid this result, republican institutions must be more restrictive and require that citizens conform to a life of political engagement. But then republican freedom will not be a neutral ideal. Rejecting negative freedom therefore means sacrificing neutrality.