Plebeian Liberty and the Limits of Sortition

As an intellectual tradition, republicanism has been divided into ancient and modern, national and regional, and plebeian and elitist strands. The conception of liberty within the plebeian and elitist traditions is different even if they share a conceptual core: non-domination. While plebeian liberty is conceived against oligarchic domination, the elitist conception developed by Skinner and Pettit, which informs Eric Ghosh’s book, understands non-domination as an abstract principle that does not consider structural forms of oligarchic domination. In this presentation, I will first highlight this lacuna and then analyze the sortition mechanisms proposed by Ghosh from the point of view of plebeian liberty and the struggle against oligarchic domination.