Liberalism and Illiberal Social Policy

Desmond King

in In The Name of Liberalism

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780198296294
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599668 | DOI:
 Liberalism and Illiberal Social Policy

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King argues that liberal democratic policies assume illiberal characteristics insofar as they violate what he views as two core principles of liberalism: equality of treatment and respect for individual freedom. King asserts that such illiberal policies are usually justified within a threefold typology; first, through ‘liberal unreason’, the notion that government must make judgements about the mental competence and reasoning powers necessary for citizenship. Second, through ‘liberal amelioration and collectivism’, an idea by which governments have applied collectivist solutions to social problems. Finally, King contends that under the premises of a ‘liberal coercive contract’, governments have required specific activities of welfare recipients.

Keywords: citizenship; collectivism; contract; equality; government; individual freedom; liberal democracy

Chapter.  9202 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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