Oct 1, 2006
European Journal of Political Theory
This article attempts to bring into discussion concepts from contemporary theories of republicanism from the vantage point of the particular theory of republican citizenship advocated by David Miller, and based on national identity. It emerges from the discussion of his notions of national identity and republican citizenship that he works with two parallel notions of political obligation: one that can be intimated from Miller’s Rousseauian vision of a political community as a community of common will, and another that can be derived from his discussion of republican citizenship as a practice of deliberation. After identifying these two notions of political obligation as ancestral obligation and political obligation as public practice I proceed to show that they work independently of one another, and that the latter is to be preferred to the former. I conclude by suggesting that these findings entitle us to think that national identity is neither a necessary nor a desirable foundation for republican citizenship.