Abstract

Some theorists, worried about liberalism’s potential as a foundation for public health ethics, suggest that republicanism provides a better background of justification for public health policies, interventions, etc. In this article, this suggestion is put to the test, and it is argued that (i) contemporary (civic) republicanism and liberalism are not nearly as opposed as it is sometimes suggested, and that (ii) the kind of republicanism which one leading scholar in the field, Bruce Jennings, as an alternative to liberalism, does not reflect the contemporary understanding of republicanism as held by, e.g. Phillip Pettit et al.

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