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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
Author: Allyn Fives

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.

From Jo Grimond to Brexit
Author: Tudor Jones

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.

Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and 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
Denting the mould: 1979–83
Tudor Jones

In the aftermath of the 1979 General Election the Liberal Party did at last engage in the kind of public examination of its values and philosophy which Gordon Lishman and others had earlier called for. At the instigation of Michael Meadowcroft, a special debate on the nature of Liberalism was held at the 1979 Liberal Assembly in Margate, during which speakers addressed, among other concerns, the contentious ideological question which had begun to dominate British politics – concerning the proper role of the State within the economy. 1

in The uneven path of British Liberalism
Tudor Jones

Liberal Party should not behave like a more rigid sect of the exclusive brethren, but be ready to join with others in the more effective promotion of liberalism’. 3 Indicating the thinking that underlay his sympathetic view of such a ‘regrouping’, Steel later remarked that if, in the late 1950s, ‘the Labour Party had been as Gaitskell was, the need for and relevance of the Liberal Party at that time would have been largely eclipsed’. 4 The ideological implications of that statement, which Steel’s mentor, Grimond, would certainly have

in The uneven path of British Liberalism
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
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