Type: Contribution to book
Democracy in Algernon Sidney’s Discourses concerning government
Skadi Siiri KRAUSE and Dirk JÖRKE (eds), Republicanism and democracy : close friends?, Berlin : Springer, 2022, pp. 81-111
ASHBY, Thomas Albert, Democracy in Algernon Sidney’s Discourses concerning government, in Skadi Siiri KRAUSE and Dirk JÖRKE (eds), Republicanism and democracy : close friends?, Berlin : Springer, 2022, pp. 81-111 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75147
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
This chapter is an attempt to trace and assess the treatment of democracy that is found in Algernon Sidney’s Discourses concerning government (1698). After an introduction including a historiographical analysis on the neglect of democracy in Sidney studies, this chapter is split into four main parts. First, as Discourses cannot be fully understood without reference to its polemical target, I outline the anti-democratic arguments found in Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, or The Natural Power of Kings (1680). In the second part, I offer a textual study of democracy as it appears in Discourses, unpicking some of the nuances and rationale behind Sidney’s own anti-democratic statements. Thirdly, I reconstruct the broader framework of Sidney’s republicanism to suggest, despite major tensions, how Discourses does incline to democratic power and democracy, even in Sidney’s own words. Finally, however, I demonstrate significant and insidious exclusionary dimensions to Sidney’s politics. I conclude with some reflections on the perils and potentialities of a Sidneian republic.
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75147
Full-text via DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-15780-6_5
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