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    Republican elements in the Liberalism of fear

    Ashenden, Samantha and Hess, A. (2020) Republican elements in the Liberalism of fear. Zeitschrift für Politische Theorie 2018 (2), pp. 209-221. ISSN 1869-3016.

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    Judith Shklar’s liberalism of fear is distinct from other liberalisms; it gains its unique imprint and quality through a long and consistent engagement with, and critical discussion of, republicanism. Her account of the contemporary relevance of notions of virtues and vices, justice and injustice, the questions of rights, representation, citizenship and democracy all point to older republican influences. However, Shklar also knew that unreconstructed republicanism and republican ideas of the virtuous life were no longer applicable to modern societal and political conditions. This becomes especially clear in her discussion of Rousseau and in her study Ordinary Vices. The irreducibly pluralist and individualist nature of modern democracy have made it inconceivable that we would all agree on what the virtuous life consists in. Shklar’s emphasis on positive liberty, critically directed against Isaiah Berlin’s argument that negative rights and negative liberty are at the heart of modern liberalism; her insistence on the need for a common spirit as distilled in her study of Montesquieu; the need for equality in terms of voting and earning as stressed in American Citizenship; and finally her discussion of the changing nature of both loyalty and political obligation in her last Harvard lectures, are all indicative of the republican elements that can be detected in her barebones liberalism.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Politics
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 13:17
    Last Modified: 15 Jun 2021 06:32


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