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Kevin Harrison
Tony Boyd

Liberalism has become the dominant ideology at the start of the third millennium. Like conservatism it cannot be easily identified with one particular political party. We trace the origins of liberalism back to the late seventeenth century and the political turmoil in England that followed the civil wars of the middle of the century. After this, liberalism’s ‘golden age’ during

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Abstract only
Allyn Fives

Shklar is a liberal political thinker. That may seem to be a straightforward statement, in particular given the frequency with which other theorists are referred to in the same way. In fact, I believe it raises a number of important questions. Perhaps the most fundamental of all is whether a political theorist (or a political theory) can be liberal. That is, are there good reasons why political theorists should not see themselves as, at one and the same time, committed liberals? Should there be some separation between one's liberalism as a set

in Judith Shklar and the liberalism of fear
Bryan Fanning

12 Taking intolerant liberalism seriously Bryan Fanning This chapter makes a case for taking intolerance justified by liberalism seriously, especially when embarking on projects that promote liberal ideals of tolerance and progress as a means towards solving social problems. It offers a critical application of the philosophical account of and case for ethnocentric liberalism made by Richard Rorty.1 This foreshadowed the muscular liberalism that came to the fore following the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 and, independently, the antimulticulturalism

in Tolerance and diversity in Ireland, North and South
Gay rights and video nasties
Paul Bloomfield

3 Labour’s liberalism: gay rights and video nasties Paul Bloomfield The social liberal reforms introduced by the Labour Party in the mid-1960s encountered increasingly determined opposition from the Conservative right in the 1980s. In the midst of the turmoil of the 1970s, a section of the Conservative Party aimed to provide an alternative to the post-war liberal consensus on moral questions. It was a contradictory melange of the radical and the reactionary, which the historian of sexuality Jeffrey Weeks described as ‘a revival of evangelical moralism, fired by

in Labour and the left in the 1980s
Alastair J. Reid

9780719081033_2_C13.qxd 1/20/10 9:09 Page 274 13 Socialism and liberalism Historians who have wanted to emphasise the limited ambitions of organised labour in modern Britain have developed the notions of ‘labourism’ and subordination to the established order to encompass not only Victorian Liberalism but also the formative years of the Labour Party. Thus they have seen twentieth-century trade unionists as having a degree of autonomy and assertiveness in the economic sphere, possibly even increasing as their organisations grew in strength. However, they have

in The tide of democracy

What does the work of Judith Shklar reveal to us about the proper role and limits of political theory? In particular, what are the implications of her arguments both for the way in which we should think of freedom and for the approach we should take to the resolution of moral conflicts? There is growing interest in Shklar’s arguments, in particular the so-called liberalism of fear, characteristic of her mature work. She has become an important influence for those taking a sceptical approach to political thought and also for those concerned first and foremost with the avoidance of great evils. However, this book shows that the most important factor shaping her mature work is not her scepticism but, rather, a value monist approach to both moral conflict and freedom, and that this represents a radical departure from the value pluralism (and scepticism) of her early work. This book also advances a clear line of argument in defence of value pluralism in political theory, one that builds on but moves beyond Shklar’s own early work.

Limiting human agency in the name of negative liberty
Darrow Schecter

THIS chapter seeks to shed some light on a somewhat contradictory situation. The priority of legality over legitimacy which lies at the heart of liberalism from Kant to the present is both the source of liberalism’s critical power and its crucial weakness. This separation is the source of liberalism’s critical power insofar as it provides the adherents of the doctrine with the possibility of insisting on

in Beyond hegemony
From Jo Grimond to Brexit

This book explores the development of liberal thought within the British Liberal Party and its successor, the Liberal Democrats. A thorough updating of The Revival of British Liberalism: From Grimond to Clegg (2011), it begins with the accession of Jo Grimond at the time of the Suez crisis in 1956 and charts the liberal resurgence in the second half of the twentieth century through to the major setbacks of the 2015 General Election and the 2016 referendum on UK membership of the European Union. Drawing on interviews with leading politicians and political thinkers, the book examines liberal ideas against the background of key historical events and controversies, including the period of coalition government with the Conservatives. A comprehensive account of British liberalism throughout the last 60 years, it will be essential reading for students, scholars and political practitioners alike.

Michael Freeden

3 British liberalism in search of ideological recalibration Michael Freeden The Liberal Party has been much less successful than the Liberal creed. (Marshall, 2004: 2). The salience of ideas in British political culture has too often been obscured by discursive misreadings, an exaggerated focus on leaders and institutions, or a dogmatic adherence to a mythical notion of pragmatism (Blackburn, 2017). The mounting invisibility of liberal thinking in public consciousness – if not perhaps among scholars and academics – following the heyday of political liberalism

in Making social democrats
Gregorio Alonso

4 •• How to be religious under liberalism Gregorio Alonso The combined activities of the clergy and of lay Catholics in nineteenthcentury Spain provide a case study that can help us move beyond the shortcomings of a simplistic identification of modernization with secularization. Until recently, modernity was considered incompatible with the preservation of religious values and practices, as is evidenced by the work of key theorists of modernity such as Steve Bruce, S.N. Einsenstadt, David Martin, Charles Taylor or Bryan Wilson.1 However, in the last three

in Spain in the nineteenth century