Volume 48, Issue 4, October 2022
Republicanism and/or Relational Egalitarianism?
What is the relationship between republicanism and relational egalitarianism? According to Andreas Schmidt, republicanism, in particular Pettit’s theory of republicanism, is able to capture some relations as objectionable which relational egalitarianism cannot, to wit, relations of mutual domination. This shows that relational egalitarianism is inadequate. In this paper, I explore the relationship between republicanism and relational egalitarianism and argue, first, that Schmidt is wrong. Relational egalitarianism, on a plausible understanding, does object to relations of mutual domination. I then argue that relational egalitarianism, unlike republicanism, is able to capture why some relationships involving racism are objectionable. I end the paper by arguing that we should not see the views as competitors: republicanism, on a plausible understanding, provides a necessary condition of what it means to relate as equals (i.e. non-domination), whereas relational egalitarianism provides necessary and jointly sufficient conditions of what it means to relate as equals.