Skip to main content

The limits of neo-Roman liberty

Buy Article:

$27.68 plus tax (Refund Policy)


While writers of the English Civil War abstracted from Roman sources a theory of liberty, the original res publica, always under the control of a unified and entrenched oligarchy, presents a threadbare fabric of liberty. Yet an impressive strand of modern republicanism follows this example: Philip Pettit's 'liberty as non-domination' appears to be inimical to notions of government power, overlooking that power is sometimes necessary to protect freedoms. Quentin Skinner sharpens this classical focus on a 'neo-Roman' theory. In Pettit a republican suspicion of popular government underplays contributions to the history of freedom from the Athenian democracy.

Keywords: Athens; Cicero; Pettit; Roman Republic; Skinner; democracy; liberty; republicanism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Social Science, The University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia. Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2002


Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more
Real Time Web Analytics