Prof Philip Pettit from Princeton University (left) with Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn, and Prof Brian Nolan, principal, college of human sciences, UCD, at the UCD Garret Fitzgerald summer school in UCD yesterday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

It may seem counter-intuitive but putting more power into the hands of “unelected agents” at the expense of politicians can enhance democracy.That wa(...)

Don’t be evil? ‘Corporations are particularly dangerous and worrisome sources of domination’

Time was we used to sing freedom songs against foreign governments and the “colonial yoke”. But today, across the western world, it is financial co(...)

‘Irish philosophers – Richard Kearney [above], Philip Pettit, William Desmond – are never noticed in the public scene’

There was a time when people across Ireland turned on the television on a Friday night to watch a Dominican priest with arthritis talk about philos(...)

Was Martin Luther King right that white people in a position of supremacy can only be free if black people are free? Photograph: AP Photo/File

Freedom is almost certainly the primary political value of our time. It is invoked as the justification for innumerable causes, its two syllabl(...)

Glenn Greenwald (left) embraces his partner, David Miranda, upon his arrival at Rio de Janeiro’s international airport on August 19th. He had been detained and questioned at length by British police at Heathrow airport on the previous day.

Who will guard us against our guardians, who will secure us against our security services? That age-old question is raised in a vivid way by the incid(...)