- The Oxford Handbook of Freedom
- Self-Ownership as a Form of Ownership
- Positive Freedom and the General Will
- Moralized Conceptions of Liberty
- On the Conflict Between Liberty and Equality
- Freedom and Equality
- The Point of Self-Ownership
- Platonic Freedom
- Aristotelian Freedom
- Freedom in the Scholastic Tradition
- Freedom, Slavery, and Identity in Renaissance Florence: The Faces of Leon Battista Alberti
- Freedom and Enlightenment
- Adam Smith’s Libertarian Paternalism
- Market Failure, the Tragedy of the Commons, and Default Libertarianism in Contemporary Economics and Policy
- Planning, Freedom, and the Rule of Law
- Freedom, Regulation, and Public Policy
- Boundaries, Subjection to Laws, and Affected Interests
- Democracy and Freedom
- Can Constitutions Limit Government?
- Freedom and Religion
- Freedom and Influence in Formative Education
- Freedom and the (Posthumous) Harm Principle
- Exploitation and Freedom
- Voluntariness, Coercion, Self-ownership
- The Impartial Spectator and the Moral Teachings of Markets
- Disciplinary Specialization and Thinking for Yourself
- Free Will as a Psychological Accomplishment
- Prisoners of Misbelief: The Epistemic Conditions of Freedom
Abstract and Keywords
There seems to be an intimate connection between democracy and freedom. But the nature of this connection is disputed. This chapter outlines possible connections between democracy and freedom. First, it is shown that there is indeed a robust positive correlation between democracy and various forms of liberal freedom. Second, the chapter examines and critiques an argument purporting to show that exercising equal political power in a democracy directly enhances citizens’ autonomy by making them authors of the laws. Third, it examines and critiques the argument that republican democracy is essential to enhancing freedom because it prevents citizens from being dominated. It is argued that we should be skeptical of these latter two positions. Empirically, democratic countries tend to be more free. But there is probably no essential connection between democracy and freedom.
Jason Brennan is the Robert J and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Chair of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University.
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