Democratizing workplaces from below: beyond workplace republicanism

Jean-Philippe Deranty, Emmanuel Renault

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this chapter, Jean-Philippe Deranty and Emmanuel Renault offer a critical analysis of contemporary republicanism and its potential for democratizing work relations. Their complaint is that republicans have so far failed to address two pivotal aspects of work activity—namely, the experiences arising from the cooperative performance of work tasks and the socio-political significance of work collectives—and have thus provided an incomplete rationale for workplace democratization. Contra republicans, democratic work requires not only institutional and legal transformations, but also a vision of democracy defined, in Deweyan terms, as the cultivation of democratic habits or a ‘way of life’. Instead, then, of a republican conception of democratic voice as simply control of enterprises via representative deliberative procedures, this switch of emphasis to democracy as a way of life and to work experiences and collectives gives rise to a participatory model of workplace democracy calling for the democratization of productive activities in their entirety. The advantage of this model, Deranty and Renault contend, is that it is more attuned than republicanism to the myriad forms of dominating hierarchy inimical to worker freedom.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe politics and ethics of contemporary work
Subtitle of host publicationwhither work?
EditorsKeith Breen, Jean-Philippe Deranty
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780429243394
ISBN (Print)9780367198114, 9780367198060
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • workplace republicanism
  • democracy
  • workplace democracy


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