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The changing face of the liberal creed from the ancient world to today The Lost History of Liberalism challenges our most basic assumptions about a political creed that has become a rallying cry—and a term of derision—in today’s increasingly divided public square. Taking readers from ancient Rome to today, Helena Rosenblatt traces the evolution of the words “liberal” and “liberalism,” revealing the heated debates that have taken place over their meaning. In this timely and provocative book, Rosenblatt debunks the popular myth of liberalism as a uniquely Anglo-American tradition centered on individual rights. She shows that it was the French Revolution that gave birth to liberalism and Germans who transformed it. Only in the mid-twentieth century did the concept become widely known in the United States—and then, as now, its meaning was hotly debated. Liberals were originally moralists at heart. They believed in the power of religion to reform society, emphasized the sanctity of the family, and never spoke of rights without speaking of duties. It was only during the Cold War and America’s growing world hegemony that liberalism was refashioned into an American ideology focused so strongly on individual freedoms. Today, we still can’t seem to agree on liberalism’s meaning. In the United States, a “liberal” is someone who advocates big government, while in France, big government is contrary to “liberalism.” Political debates become befuddled because of semantic and conceptual confusion. The Lost History of Liberalism sets the record straight on a core tenet of today’s political conversation and lays the foundations for a more constructive discussion about the future of liberal democracy.
For eighteenth- and nineteenth-century authors such as Burke, Constant and Mill, a powerful representative assembly which freely deliberated and controlled the executive was the defining institution of a liberal state. Yet these figures also feared that representative assemblies were susceptible to usurpation, gridlock or corruption. Parliamentarism was their answer to this dilemma; a constitutional model which enabled a nation to be truly governed by a representative assembly. Offering novel interpretations of canonical liberal authors, this history of liberal political ideas suggests a new paradigm for interpreting the development of modern political thought, inspiring fresh perspectives on historical issues from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. In doing so, Selinger suggests the wider significance of parliament and the theory of parliamentarism in the development of European political thought, revealing how contemporary democratic theory, and indeed the challenges facing representative government today, are historically indebted to classical parliamentarism.
This dissertation is made up of four essays that address major problems in the policy areas of education and immigration in Sweden and an introductory essay that offers an overarching analysis of the results of the four individual studies. The first three essays analyze the significant decline in quality of elementary and secondary education since the late 1990s from three different angles: the decline in teachers’ working conditions and status (Essay I), the deficiencies in the regulatory framework of Sweden’s system of school competition between public and for-profit providers of education (Essay II), and the prescribed view of knowledge in Swedish schools (Essay III). The fourth essay examines the policy of refugee placement in recent years. It shows that peripheral and rural municipalities with declining populations and high unemployment have received greater numbers of refugees per capita than growing urban municipalities offering better employment opportunities. The introductory essay focuses on the common thread in the four essays, namely, policy convergence between the Left and the Right. In fact, the empirical evidence in the individual studies suggests that the Social Democrats and the Moderate Party have a propensity for policy convergence in the two areas analyzed, but that it is unintentional and hard to detect for the actors themselves. This observation runs counter to what is typically assumed in political science, namely, that the Left and the Right are polar opposites with widely divergent policy agendas. Avhandlingen består av fyra artiklar om svensk utbildnings- och migrationspolitik och en kappa som syntetiserar de enskilda studierna. Den första artikeln undersöker hur svenska lärares yrkesstolthet och inneboende drivkrafter att göra ett bra jobb har påverkats av vänster- och högerpolitikers syn på läraryrket. Den andra artikeln undersöker hur marknadsutsättningen av det svenska skolväsendet har påverkat kunskapsnivån bland svenska elever. Den tredje artikeln bygger vidare på de två första studierna och undersöker synen på ämneskunskaper i skolans styrdokument och dess påverkan både på läraryrkets ställning och elevers kunskaper. Den fjärde artikeln undersöker det geografiska mönstret i kommunplaceringen av nyanlända flyktingar i Sverige. Avhandlingens övergripande bidrag är att den, genom att studera två olika politikområden, visar att vänstern och högern i Sverige har en omedveten benägenhet att konvergera politiskt. Trots att man anser sig stå på olika sidor i politiken visar empirin i de fyra studierna att vänster- och högerpolitiker i främst Socialdemokraterna och Moderaterna har dragit åt samma håll i både utbildnings- och migrationspolitiken. Den första artikeln visar att politiker både till vänster och till höger ofta har varit skeptiska till lärarnas inflytande i skolan och sett det som ett hinder för elevernas frihet och lärande, vilket har bidragit till att underminera lärarnas professionella etos. Den andra artikeln visar att både vänster- och högerpolitiker underlät att utforma regelverket för skolkonkurrensen så att privata utförare styrdes mot att erbjuda en undervisning av hög kvalitet. I stället uppstod en konkurrens med höga betyg. Den tredje artikeln visar likaledes att skolans konstruktivistiska kunskapssyn, som både har reducerat lärarnas yrkesroll till förmån för elevernas eget arbete och förstärkt utvecklingen mot en konkurrens med betyg, har stöttats av såväl vänster- som högerpolitiker. Den fjärde artikeln visar att nyanlända flyktingar främst har tagits emot av mindre kommuner i avfolkningsbygder präglade av hög arbetslöshet. I artikeln framhålls att denna kontraproduktiva policy har sin grund i både vänster- och högerpolitikers välmenade idéer om flyktingmottagandet som först lanserades på nationell nivå. Då statsvetare i såväl Sverige som internationellt ofta har antagit att vänster och höger utgör politikens motpoler erbjuder avhandlingens huvudresultat ett nytt perspektiv. Sannolikt kan det generaliseras till ytterligare politikområden. Kappan ger även en nydanande förklaring till politisk konvergens som går ut på att vänstern och högern, åtminstone i en svensk kontext, delar en moraluppfattning som främst betonar individens frihet och rättigheter medan andra, balanserande moraliska värden tonas ned. En implikation av detta är att det skapar utrymme för nya partier som positionerar sig i den nisch som därigenom uppstått.
While the subject of democracy has been explored by philosophers since ancient times, in the last few decades democracy has been taken for granted in the West as the political norm. The recognition of democracy as an empty concept in Western political discourse and the emergence of theories of radical democracy have renewed engagement in democratic theory and politics. Radicalizing Democracy for the Twenty-first Century explores the radicalizing movement in democratic thought and: • Introduces readers to the key debates in contemporary philosophical theories about democracy. • Confronts popular assumptions about democracy. • Provides a philosophical underpinning for the rise of radical democratic theories, movements and politics. • Examines how radical democracy can respond to the challenges of the contemporary world. Radicalizing Democracy for the Twenty-first Century is an important resource for students, scholars and university teachers in the field of political philosophy, political theory and international relations.
Why is English synonymous with literature in the United States? Bonfiglio contextualizes the rising hegemony of English within the anti-labor, anti-immigration, xenophobic, mercantile, militarist, and technocratic ideologies that arose in the US in the first half of twentieth century.

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