Chapter

Towards a free society

Paul Spicker

in Liberty, equality, fraternity

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9781861348418
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302704 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861348418.003.0003
Towards a free society

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There are close conceptual connections between liberty and democracy. Liberal democracy is based partly on the principles of liberal individualism. Its key elements are individual liberty, pluralism and the rule of law, and its primacy over government. Liberty depends not only on the absence of coercion, but also on the capacity to act and the promotion of autonomy. There is a widespread view, on the political right, that there is a contradiction between freedom and the welfare state. Since the state is closely identified with the organs of government, it reflects deliberate action by formal institutions to intervene in society. Social welfare provision, however, is not necessarily the product of state action, and the formal institutions may depend substantially on the voluntary actions of people in society. The chapter discusses how social welfare provision can be designed to protect the liberty of each person in this chapter.

Keywords: liberty; democracy; liberal democracy; pluralism; welfare state; social welfare provision

Chapter.  7896 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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