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Structural Domination and Freedom in the Labor Market: From Voluntariness to Independence

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The claim that workers are subject to structural domination in the labor market is a central contention of the recent radical turn in republican political theory, but it remains undertheorized. Two core components - the claim that workers have no reasonable alternative to selling their labor to capitalists and the relevance of exposure to potential interference in such cases - remain unclear. Without a more precise specification of the conditions of structural domination, it is difficult to assess how well republican prescriptions minimize it. I develop a revised defense of the central claim through an analysis of these components. I clarify what it is to have reasonable alternatives in the labor market but show that holding such options is insufficient to avoid structural domination. I argue that the dependence at the heart of structural domination can be constituted multifariously and develop an additional criterion directed at capturing such dependence in production.



4408 Political Science, 44 Human Society

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American Political Science Review

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Cambridge University Press