Contending Liberalisms::Past and Present
AbstractThe claim that the ending of the Cold War signifies the triumph of Western liberalism — irrespective of whether this is celebrated or deplored — overlooks the extent to which the liberal tradition, as commonly understood, incorporated radical differences within it. These often shaped the major political cleavages of the time — between Whigs and radicals, Girondins and Jacobins, the liberalism of privilege versus the liberalism of egalitarian democracy. Similar tensions can be identified today — between the liberalisms of `globalization from above' and `globalization from below', the liberalism of international business and finance and that of radical social movements, the liberalism of privilege and that of human rights in the full sense. Not all these espouse the same liberal principles, but they can be seen as contending over which of the rival liberalisms should be accorded legitimacy in the post-Cold War world.