Liberalism, Nationalism, and Egalitarianism *

Samuel Scheffler

in Boundaries and Allegiances

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780199257676
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600197 | DOI:
 Liberalism, Nationalism, and Egalitarianism *

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Liberalism today is criticized from the opposing standpoints of particularism and globalism, the former claiming that liberalism underestimates the importance of national, cultural, and communal ties, and the latter claiming that liberalism is not sensitive enough to questions of international morality. Each of these criticisms points to a different tension within liberal theory—the particularist criticism to the tension between liberalism's explicit voluntarism and its implicit nationalism, and the globalist criticism to the tension between liberalism's commitment to egalitarianism and its commitment to particularism about political responsibility. These tensions within liberal theory are explored through Scheffler's discussion of debates about associative duties. The two tensions reflect liberalism's difficulty in jointly accommodating the three values of autonomy, moral equality, and loyalty.

Keywords: associative duties; autonomy; egalitarianism; equality; globalism; liberalism; loyalty; nationalism; particularism; responsibility

Chapter.  8062 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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