The Meaning of Liberalism East and West

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"The book is a valuable publication... a great help for the on-going discussion on the transformation of Eastern societies." Bernhard Schäfers, University of Karlsruhe, Germany

The Meaning of Liberalism provides a new perspective on the continuing debate about how liberalism should be defined and what it means in countries with an established parliamentary system, particularly in the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe.

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Overview

"The book is a valuable publication... a great help for the on-going discussion on the transformation of Eastern societies." Bernhard Schäfers, University of Karlsruhe, Germany

The Meaning of Liberalism provides a new perspective on the continuing debate about how liberalism should be defined and what it means in countries with an established parliamentary system, particularly in the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe.

The key question this book addresses is: will the specific experience of communism and its aftermath give birth to a new distinct current of liberal thought, or will it simply enlarge the scope of the Western liberal debate? The authors argue that liberalism cannot be reduced merely to private property and market prices, but needs a very complex set of institutions and corresponding law.

Contributors come from both sides of the former Iron Curtain and they highlight the richness and diversity of liberalism and discuss different perceptions of liberal thinking in the East and West in the post-modern world.

Contents
Foreword. Introduction. Part 1. Contemporary State of Liberal Theory: Citizenship & moral individuality, Liberal values, Liberal guilt & the disaster for politics, Liberalism, value & social cohesion, Value of liberalism Part 2. Liberalism in the West: Limits & the crisis of liberal politics, Social & cultural problems in contemporary Europe, Two dilemmas of liberalism, Above all we must protect the civil roof, German difficulties with liberalism Part 3. Liberalism in the East: Can weak-state liberalism survive?, Neoliberalism, post-communist transformation & civil society, Law, traditionalism &liberalism in practice, Constitutional transformation in post-communist Central Europe Part 4. Difficult Fate of Liberalism in Eastern & Central Europe: Burdens of the past, Liberalism in Central Europe after 1989


1999
280 pages
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Compares and contrasts the images which liberals in the West and in former communist countries hold about the working of pluralist systems. Part I examines elements of contemporary liberal theory, and Part II deals with liberal thinking in the West and the problems with which it is concerned. Part III presents experiences of liberals in former communist countries since 1989 and describes challenges which liberal-inspired policies face there. Material originated at a July 1996 seminar, "The Prospects of Liberalism in Post-1989 Europe," held in Prague. Suda is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. Musil teaches sociology at the Central European University in Budapest and Warsaw and at Charles University in Prague. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789639116542
  • Publisher: Central European University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Pages: 271
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
By Way of Introduction 1
The Contemporary State of Liberal Theory
Citizenship and Moral Individuality 29
Liberal Values, Liberal Guilt, and the Distaste for Politics 47
Liberalism, Value, and Social Cohesion 73
The Value of Liberalism 85
Communitarianism in Practice: The Threat to Individual Rights from the Institutionalist Interpretation of the German Basic Law 105
Liberalism in the West
The Limits and the Crisis of Liberal Polities 119
Social and Cultural Problems in Contemporary Europe: On Recent Challenges to Liberal Ideas 123
Two Dilemmas of Liberalism: Historical Exhaustion and Internal Division in a World of Globalization 139
German Difficulties with Liberalism. A Historical Outline 151
Liberalism in the East
The Burdens of the Past 167
Liberalism in Central Europe after 1989 197
Can Weak-State Liberalism Survive? 209
Neo-Liberalism, Post-Communist Transformation, and Civil Society 223
Constitutional Transformation in Post-Communist Central Europe: A Liberal Revolution? 235
Law, Tradition and Liberalism in Practice: Quo Vadis, East Central Europe? 249
Contributors 265
Name Index 269
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