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The New LiberalismAn Ideology of Social Reform$
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Michael Freeden

Print publication date: 1986

Print ISBN-13: 9780198229612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198229612.001.0001

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(p.245) VII Epilogue
The New Liberalism

Michael Freeden

Oxford University Press

One of the fundamental themes that have shaped the contents is the conviction that ideas are facts, that they can be treated as empirical phenomena and subjected to scientific scrutiny, and that political thought is a ubiquitous aspect of political behaviour. The book also suggested that political thought is to be found at any level of political action, on different levels of sophistication. The critique of liberal thought is often based on the mid-19th century model, though the basic attitudes underlying liberalism are not anchored to a particular point in time. On the historical level of interest, this book has attempted to probe the changes in liberal mentality prior to the unparalleled activity of the Liberal party in social legislation. On the eve of a cataclysmic world war, liberalism had designed a fitting climax to the rational faith in human perfectibility.

Keywords:   liberal values, social reform, politics, ideology, Hobson, social legislation

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