Republicanism is an ancient tradition of political thought that has enjoyed a remarkable revival in recent years. As with liberalism, conservatism, and other enduring political traditions, there is considerable disagreement as to exactly what republicanism is and who counts as a republican, whether in the ancient world or contemporary times. Scholars agree, however, that republicanism rests on the conviction that government is not the domain of some ruler or small set of rulers, but is instead a public matter - the res publica - to be directed by self-governing citizens.

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Copyright © 2011 Oxford University Press. This chapter first appeared in The Oxford Handbook of The History of Political Philosophy.

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