For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Workplace democracy and republican freedom"

by Breen, Keith; Hirvonen, Onni (2021)


In this chapter, Keith Breen and Onni Hirvonen examine the case for democratic worker voice based on the republican ideal of freedom as non-domination. While not unconvincing, this case is primarily consequentialist in character and therefore open to significant empirical disagreement. Indeed, together with republican arguments for democratic worker voice, there are republican arguments for worker voice that reject workplace democracy, republican arguments that see state regulation plus a universal basic income (UBI) as sufficient for minimizing workplace domination, and republican arguments that focus exclusively on exit rights and are hostile to augmenting workers’ voice. Breen and Hirvonen claim this policy indeterminacy stems from a restriction by republicans of the ideal of freedom to the dimension of non-domination alone. If we expand our understanding of freedom to include worker autonomy—a dimension of freedom underpinning the ‘expressive egalitarianism’ definitive of republican citizenship, properly understood—we can arrive at a more robust freedom-based case for workplace democracy.


Workplace Democracy, Republican Freedom, Freedom, Liberty, Non-Domination, Deomcracy, Workplace Democracy





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