A while back, I wondered out loud to myself about how the financial crisis and its impact in Spain might throw into new relief the involvement of Philip Pettit in advising and monitoring the Spanish government in implementing his principles of civic republicanism. ABC Democracy has a link to a new essay by Pettit himself reflecting on this very issue, in light of the demands for ‘real democracy now‘ articulated by the indignados of the 15-M movement. His piece revolves around the challenge of developing plausible accounts of alternative institutional design that move beyond the populist rhetoric of the magical collective power of the people.
How’s this for public engagement – Philip Pettit‘s theory of republican freedom is a very real force in shaping Spanish government policy, it turns out; and not only that, he has been involved in auditing these policies for their success in achieving these theoretical objectives. For more on the background to this, see A Political Philosophy in Public Life: Civic Republicanism in Zapatero’s Spain, and for a critical consideration, there is this. Would be interesting to know how this is playing now, in the wake of how the finanical crisis is resonating in Spain.