Political Theory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


Is there a political theory in Mary Wollstonecraft’s writings? The question is relevant since Wollstonecraft’s main preoccupation was moral rather than political: the duty of every thinking person to strive to make themselves as good as they can be. This is a complex duty, involving independent thought, acting on principles of reason, and making oneself useful to others. The challenge involved in this endeavor is a recurrent theme in most of what she wrote. The idiosyncrasies of Wollstonecraft’s political theory are partially a reaction to republican principles but from within republican commitments. I analyse some of the features that make her republicanism distinctive: the moral ends of government, her suspicion of the republican trope of “the people”, and her conflicted views on revolution. I conclude with her critique of hierarchies of privilege and wealth.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy
  • History of Ideas


  • Mary Wollstonecraft, political theory, political freedom, feminism, republicanism
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMary Wollstonecraft in Context
EditorsNancy E. Johnson, Paul Keen
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781108261067
ISBN (Print)9781108416993
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan
Publication categoryResearch

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Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Lena Halldenius, 2016, Stockholm: Thales. 222 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Lena Halldenius, 2015, Pickering & Chatto. 192 p. (The Enlightenment World; vol. 30)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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Related projects

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Project: Research

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