Andrew Fletcher : bridging the gap between early modern and civic republicanism
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This thesis explores the progress of contemporary republican theory from its civic roots to its modern conception. Republicanism is a paradigm of liberty, and the transformation of this theory of liberty from concepts of self-government and civic virtue through to contemporary ideas of non-domination and political autonomy will be examined. Using Andrew Fletcher's particular brand of civic-humanist republicanism as a critical model, this thesis will show that republicanism is vital for addressing the issues an increasingly interdependent and unjust global system brings about. This thesis considers Andrew Fletcher's contribution to republican political theory and demonstrates that his unique approach to liberty, peace and the European political order is an important contribution to the canon of political thought used in contemporary scholarship to understand the political ordering of society. Furthermore, his contribution to the debate surrounding the Treaty of Union is a relevant starting point for consideration of the current Scottish Independence question. It shows that Fletcher's civic-humanist republican theories are both relevant and necessary for the contemporary understanding of the republican theory of liberty, narrowing the gap between the dominant ideologies. Where communitarianism lays at one end of the spectrum, and libertarianism the other, Fletcher's own brand of civic-humanist republicanism narrows this broad spectrum.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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