There is a recent attempt to solve the traditional controversy between a negative and a positive notion of liberty, that is, in other words, between liberalism and democracy, through the elaboration of a ‘third’ concept, ‘republican freedom’. This is conceptualized neither as non-interference nor as participation, but rather as independence. Freedom would consist of a position qualified as ‘independence’ that cannot be reduced either to a negative or a positive subjective condition. The article tries to make sense of this proposal and to test the effective indepence of freedom as independence from both negative and positive liberty. The outcome of such testing is not particularly encouraging, since ‘republicanism’ ’s arguments seem to be constantly moving, indeed oscillating, between the two traditional doctrines of liberalism and democracy, without being able to differentiate such ‘third way’ with sufficient clarity.
Keywords: Freedom, Republicanism, Liberalism, Participation