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Book description

Opens up new histories of freedom and republicanism by building on Quentin Skinner's ground-breaking Liberty before Liberalism nearly twenty five years after its initial publication. Leading historians and philosophers reveal the neo-Roman conception of liberty that Skinner unearthed as a normative and historical hermeneutic tool of enormous, ongoing power. The volume thinks with neo-Romanism to offer reinterpretations of individual thinkers, such as Montaigne, Grotius and Locke. It probes the role of neo-Roman liberty within hierarchies and structures beyond that of citizen and state – namely, gender, slavery, and democracy. Finally, it reassesses the relationships between neo-Romanism and other languages in the history of political thought: liberalism, conservatism, socialism, and the human rights tradition. The volume concludes with a major reappraisal by Skinner himself.


‘Rethinking Liberty Before Liberalism succeeds magnificently as a tribute to the achievement of Liberty Before Liberalism, as a substantive contribution to the history of political thought, and as an addition to the corpus of political philosophy itself.’

David Armitage - University of Harvard

'The internationally reputed scholars brought together in this volume both appraise and contribute to the extraordinarily fertile discussions that followed the publication of Quentin Skinner’s text twenty years ago. An outstanding volume, beautifully curated and introduced by its editors, and likely to become a point of reference in the field.'

Cécile Laborde - University of Oxford

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