At the turn of the 19th–20th centuries British liberal theorists developed a vigorous social and communitarian approach that resulted in the UK’s first steps towards a modern welfare state. The reforming mood of liberalism attempted to
counter the human damage caused by the industrial revolution through formulating a theory–and a range of social policies– designed to attain a balance between individual liberty, human interdependence, and social flourishing. In so doing it launched the most powerful and successful domestic political programme that the UK has experienced for the past 120 years. Both its achievements and its flaws alert us to the challenges that modern societies confront in promoting social inclusiveness within a democratic framework, particularly when the state is harnessed to increase individual choice and opportunity alongside the redistribution of life-chances. In branching off in a new direction, liberalism–and the Liberal party–produced an influential ideology, but also ran up against practical and ideational difficulties that dampened that promising momentum.
Prof. Dr. Michael Freeden, Politikwissenschaftler; Professor am Institut für Politik und Internationale Studien an der School of Oriental and African Studies der University of London (SOAS), außerdem emeritierter Professor am Mansfield College in Oxford
Moderation: Dr. Clara Maier, Historikerin; Wissenschaftlerin in der Forschungsgruppe Demokratie und Staatlichkeit des Hamburger Instituts für Sozialforschung
Vortrag im Rahmen der HAMBURGER VORTRÄGE ZU DEMOKRATIE UND STAATLICHKEIT