Pedagogy of non-domination: Neo-republican political theory and critical education

Itay Snir, Yuval Eylon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The neo-republican political philosophy (sometimes referred to as civic republicanism) advances the idea of freedom as non-domination, in an attempt to provide democracy with a solid normative foundation upon which concrete principles and institutions can be erected so as to make freedom a reality. However, attempts to develop a republican educational theory are still hesitant, and fail to take the republican radical conception of freedom to its full conclusions. This article suggests that dialogue between neo-republicanism and critical pedagogy can be mutually productive. In the first part of the article we present the neo-republican theory, and contrast it with traditional liberalism. In the second we focus on existing neo-republican theories of education, and claim that they do not take the republican presuppositions to their necessary conclusion, namely to an educational theory fully committed to the idea of freedom as nondomination. A republican educational theory, we argue, must take into consideration not only the freedom students will have in the future, but also their freedom in the present: it should think of school as a small-scale republic, which prepares its inhabitants to be future citizens of the state while at the same time treating them as free citizens in their own right. In the third part we use insights taken from critical pedagogy to chart the direction republican education must take by applying three key republican notions-democratic control, civic contestation, and trust. In the fourth and last part we outline four aspects in which neo-republicanism can shed new light on contemporary debates in critical pedagogy: the connection between democracy and justice, the multiplicity of forms of domination, critical education within schools, and work with students from relatively privileged backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-774
Number of pages16
JournalPolicy Futures in Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) 2016.


  • Critical pedagogy
  • Education for social justice
  • Neo-republicanism
  • Non-domination
  • Philip Pettit


Dive into the research topics of 'Pedagogy of non-domination: Neo-republican political theory and critical education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this