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Political Science Lecture 3a.docx

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Religious Studies
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Walter Peace

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Political Science 1G06 September 25, 2012 Lecture 3a Liberty Overview 1. What does Liberalism suggest about the shape of the public realm and the limits of government? 2. What does Liberalism suggest about the shape of the economic realm? 3. What does Liberalism suggest about the limits to freedom, in thought, speech, and action? Definition: Liberalism – from “liber” meaning “free” - Liberalism concerned above all with freedom and how to secure it. Considerations: - Important not to equate liberalism the theory with the Liberal Party – not every policy pursued by the Liberals would be deemed as liberal by all liberals (or even by all Liberals) - Important to note that there are variations in liberal theory - Each variant has its own justification, institutional requirements, and influence on history Historical variations of Liberal theory/practice: Political Liberalism 1. Classical Liberalism – 17 - 19 century - For Classical Liberalism legitimate political rule starts from the principle of equality - This did not mean that everyone should have equal political rights (right to vote, hold office), but that the rule of law should apply equally to everyone - Government might be required, rule might be necessary, but for a specific purpose: protect freedom, meaning “life, liberty, possessions” - Adam Smith - domain of government: - 1. Protect society from invasion - 2. Protect members from each other (“administer justice”) - 3. “The duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions, which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain” - Provide Public goods – goods that are in both the individual and collective interest but that will not be spontaneously provided by society because of the “free rider” problem - Lighthouses, roads, etc - Classical Liberalism concerned with promoting negative freedoms – freedom from interference by government and others - Right to be left alone 2. Reform Liberalism – late 19 c – 1970s. - Usually dated with T.H. Green (1836-92) - Individuals not only need
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