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Political Ideologies

Political Ideologies (1st edn)

Paul Wetherly
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date: 30 January 2023

p. 332. Liberalismlocked

p. 332. Liberalismlocked

  • Robin Redhead
  •  and Stephen Hood


This chapter explores the basic assumptions of liberal ideology. It first traces the origins of liberalism before discussing some key concepts and values of a liberal ideology such as liberty, democracy, rights, and tolerance. It then considers two of the most important, yet contrasting, strands within liberalism: economic liberalism, which supports policies of privatization and laissez-faire economics, and social liberalism, whose concern for individual freedom is coupled with a commitment to social equality. The chapter also looks at some key criticisms of liberal ideas, focusing on the liberal vision of a just society, as well as the influence of liberalism on social movements and political parties in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. Finally, it illustrates the pervasiveness of liberalism and how it is related to other ideologies.

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