Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 January 2006
The re-energizers of the civic republican tradition claim that its ideas can enhance contemporary political theory as well as politics. This essay focuses on the benchmark of the republican tradition, the notion of citizenship, and explores the viability of such claims. I argue that serious limitations make the republican conception of citizenship unable to satisfy the stipulations of the ongoing global transition. The models of “the republican citizen” and “the citizen of the world” are essentially inconsistent. Some traditional ideas of civic republicanism—the high demands of public service and strong patriotic identity, the rhetorical approach to individual rights, and the multiple functions of the republican state—are not adjustable to the global reality. When new republicans attempt to incorporate the elements of contemporary political theory into republican thought, their hybrid concepts fly in the face of the old tradition.