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What is Republican Freedom?
Republican freedom offers a more comprehensive approach to freedom than either the negative or positive distinctions.
For a long time, freedom was understood as either a negative or a positive concept. The negative conception of freedom refers to the absence of something, e.g., freedom from interference, barriers, or constraints. The positive conception of freedom understands that concept as an active exercise.
However, at some point, a third alternative arose, which was seen as freedom from dependence or domination, and became known as the “republican” conception of freedom. Republican freedom is both a negative concept because it is based on the absence of domination, and a positive one because it relies on civic citizenship as an active consequential ideal. For this reason, in theory, republican freedom offers a more comprehensive approach to freedom than either the negative or positive distinctions.