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What are the condition of agency in the individual and the State?

  1. Dec 18, 2006 #1
    What are the condition of agency in the individual and the State?

    Can someone tell me what the question is asking?
    I can't quite get what agency means...
    and condition of agency...
    any insight will be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    You'll need to explain more. What context did you take this out of?
  4. Dec 19, 2006 #3
    plato's republic... maybe, candide thats what i read in the course
  5. Jan 5, 2007 #4
    "Agency" means the ability to initiate action. It is often confused with "free will" which means a lack of constraint upon action. You have free will if you can decide for yourself whether to put on white socks or black socks this morning. You have agency if you have the power to put your decision into practice.

    Basically, agency is the power to initiate action. In a political context, such as Plato's Republic, this would mean the ability of a person to initiate some kind of political or social action. In this sense, it is closely related to "franchise" which means in political theory, the right to participate in decision making (or more narrowly, the right to vote, for example).

    Hope this helps!

    --Stuart Anderson
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