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Liberalism in Illiberal StatesIdeas and Economic Adjustment in Contemporary Europe$
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Mark I. Vail

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190683986

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190683986.001.0001

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National Liberalisms in Historical Perspective

National Liberalisms in Historical Perspective

Conceptions of State, Society, and Economy in Illiberal States

(p.27) 1 National Liberalisms in Historical Perspective
Liberalism in Illiberal States

Mark I. Vail

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the development of French, German, and Italian liberalism from the nineteenth century to the 1980s, giving particular attention to each tradition’s conceptions of the role of the state and its relationship to groups and individual citizens. Using a broad range of historical source material and the works of influential political philosophers, it outlines the analytical frameworks central to French “statist liberalism,” German “corporate liberalism,” and Italian “clientelist liberalism.” It shows how these evolving traditions shaped the structure of each country’s postwar political-economic model and the policy priorities developed during the postwar boom through the early 1970s and provides conceptual touchstones for the direction and character of these traditions’ evolution in the face of the neoliberal challenge since the 1990s. The chapter demonstrates that each tradition accepted elements of a more liberal economic order while rejecting neoliberalism’s messianic market-making agenda and its abstract and disembedded political-economic vision.

Keywords:   liberalism, tradition, statism, neocorporatism, clientelism, Ordoliberalism, interest group, citizen, state

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