“Civic Republicanism in Zapatero's Spain” by Philip Pettit, proclaimed as one of the 5 best books of 2010
The book “A Political Philosophy in Public Life: Civic Republicanism in Zapatero’s Spain”, written by the Princeton University Professor and member of IDEAS Foundation’s science committee, Philip Pettit, together with José Luis Martí, has been considered one of the five best books ever published in economics and politics in 2010, according to the prestigious, progressive magazine The New Statestman.
The book includes an interview with the philosopher and the Prime Minister, JL Rodríguez Zapatero, in which the latter claims that “the essential conditions for progress are the existence of effective public institutions and the deployment of effective political action.” The book was the result of an invitation by the President of the Government directed to Pettit in 2004: the year of the Zapatero’s first victory, the President asked the philosopher to come to Spain to “audit” Zapatero’s policies at to the end of his term. The result of this audit is the core of the book, and final evaluation is broadly positive. In fact, according to Pettit, “Zapatero’s administration has maintained over the years their commitment to the socialism of the citizens, also called civic republicanism.” The magazine notes that it is quite unusual for a politician to “undergo an exercise as strict as that done by the philosopher.” In that sense, Zapatero's commitment to Pettit shows that political theory can be used “in the public space as well as in the seminars and in the universities."
Philip Pettit is currently collaborating with the IDEAS Foundation’s Head of International and Cooperation Department, Antonio Estella, in the realization of a draft long-term research project, which develops the idea of civic republicanism at the international level and is entitled “Sustainable International Relations.” This project will be released in the first half of 2011.