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In The Name of LiberalismIlliberal Social Policy in the USA and Britain$
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Desmond King

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198296294

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198296290.001.0001

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Liberalism and Illiberal Social Policy

Liberalism and Illiberal Social Policy

(p.7) 1 Liberalism and Illiberal Social Policy
In The Name of Liberalism

Desmond King (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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