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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
A guide for A2 politics students
Series: Understandings
Authors: Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

In liberal democracies there is a belief that citizens ought to take an active interest in what is happening in the political world. Political debate in modern Western democracies is a complex and often rowdy affair. There are three fundamental political issues: 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which feature in almost all political discussions and conflicts. The book assesses the degree to which the state and state sovereignty are disappearing in the modern world of 'globalised' politics, economics and culture and new international institutions. The main features of the nation and the problems of defining it are outlined: population, culture, history, language, religion, and race. Different types of democracy and their most important features are discussed. 'Freedom' is usually claimed to be the prime objective of political activity. The book discusses equality of human rights, distributional equality, equality before the law, the claims for group equality on the grounds of race, gender, class. Rights, obligations and citizenship are closely associated. Ideology is the driving force of political discourse. The book also discusses nationalism's growth and development over the last two centuries with particular reference to its main features and assumptions. It outlines the development of conservatism as a political ideology and movement in Britain during the last two centuries. An overview of liberalism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, and Fascism follows. Environmentalism and feminism are also discussed. Finally, the book talks about how ideological change occurs and stresses the importance of rationality in politics.

Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

of the time influence what they do with that power when they have achieved it. Indeed, it is impossible to separate the two. This applies even to those who deny having an ideology. The use of power always takes place in a framework of ideology. Modern politics can only be properly understood by reference to the great ideological movements: conservatism, liberalism, socialism, fascism, and so on. Ideologies tend to have a bad

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Sarah Hale

philosophy The development of communitarian political philosophy was characterised at the time as a debate with liberalism, with the communitarian side identified most closely with books by four writers, published during the 1980s: Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue (1981); Michael Sandel’s Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (1982); Michael Walzer

in The Third Way and beyond
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

liberalism and conservatism, socialism was a nineteenth-century development with its roots in the eighteenth century and even earlier. It grew up with industrialisation and urbanisation, a process that was under way in Britain by the 1750s and spread to Western Europe during the early part of the 1800s. This process created the modern factory system (which is only now beginning to disappear in the industrialised West) and

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Sarah Hale, Will Leggett and Luke Martell

attempt to reconcile social justice and economic efficiency. Alternatively, as Cammack sees things, Giddens has deliberately subverted the language of social democracy in order to usher in a new and aggressive phase of neo-liberalism. On his account, the Third Way is not an attempt to address the perceived failures of both the Old Left and neo-liberalism, but rather the ideological

in The Third Way and beyond
Open Access (free)
Judith Squires

derives from the fact that two different traditions of political thought are at work in the public–private distinction. The complexity does not stop there, however, for liberal discourses also frequently invoke a romantic tradition as well. Will Kymlicka suggests that there are two different conceptions of the public–private distinction at work within liberalism: the state–civil society distinction and the social

in Political concepts
Open Access (free)
Jonathan Seglow

-communitarian controversy begin to transform itself into a more particular debate about how to accommodate cultural and ethnic claims within a broadly liberal political theory. Here Will Kymlicka’s Liberalism, Community and Culture led the way. 2 By now, it is increasingly recognised that liberal constitutions are shot through with partisan ethnocultural norms. 3 This is the first claim I want to make then

in Political concepts
Paul Cammack

derived exclusively from the logic of capitalist accumulation and exploitation. In contrast, neo-liberalism looks to an active state first to restore and then to maintain and extend the conditions within which the logic of capitalist reproduction can work to the full. In this context, an essential component of its project – reflected in the claim that ‘there is no alternative’ – is

in The Third Way and beyond
Will Leggett

grant neo-liberalism a hegemonic status. On this view, the Third Way is simply an elaborate rhetorical device that seeks to legitimise the capitulation of the Centre-Left to the triumph of neo-liberal ideology and practice. Giddens and other advocates of the Third Way have simply reconciled themselves to neo-liberalism. The Third Way is a project that looks to ‘adapt to the

in The Third Way and beyond