Sep 16th, 2016 by sfs
September 9, 2016—briefing: "Conceptual Fault Lines in Contemporary Liberalism" with Andrew March.
Liberalism” is often taken by both its proponents and its enemies to encode a single set of commitments: perhaps to individual rights and freedoms, limited government, a mixed economy and secularism. In contentious public debates over policy issues, “liberalism” is often seen by its adherents as calling for a single right answer and by its opponents as the primary cause of enduring social and cultural conflicts. And, yet, with some exceptions, almost all of our present legal and political conflicts in Western countries take place under the broad canopy of what can be called “liberalism.” How can this be true, and if it is, does liberalism lack a coherent conceptual core? Is it an essentially contented concept? Or is it a field of argumentation over the proper weight that should be given to a wide, but finite, number of common values and commitments? This talk addressed these questions as they are illuminated in a few important contemporary public policy disputes.