One of the main purposes of The Good Society's founders was to examine political institutions and their functioning, not only in light of the values and purposes they were designed to promote, but also in light of those currently prevailing. In that sense, this issue marks a return to the journal's roots. The symposium on Lawrence Hamilton's Freedom Is Power: Liberty through Political Representation examines the author's effort to diagnose and treat the ills of democracy in South Africa from a consequentialist perspective: Do the formal protections and privileges granted to South Africa's citizens, or their ostensible representation in deliberative institutions, actually make them free?

Hamilton argues not—and not simply because of public corruption or institutional flaws. Rather, he insists (with nods to John Dewey and Amartya Sen) that freedom can only mean the ability to determine and pursue specific actions or goods, and in a context of interdependence, each...

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