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Libertés et libéralismes

Libertés et libéralismes

Formation et circulation des concepts

Edited by Jean-Louis Fournel, Jacques Guilhaumou, Jean-Pierre Potier

Gouvernement en question(s)

This book acknowledges that there can be no reflection on liberalism without the concept of freedom but that no concept of freedom can be included among the different forms of liberalism. The two words which constitute the subject of this investigation refer to empirical or conceptual realities and a priori different chronologies. Liberty refers to an age-old problem, which has existed for as long as human beings have been reflecting on possible forms of living together. Liberalism refers more to a body of doctrine which has its origins in an interpretation of the leading role which liberty plays in exchanges and methods of organising society. The challenge of this collection of studies, which is by choice and by necessity transdisciplinary in nature, is to compare the two notions in terms of their use and history.
This book, therefore, offers a more detailed representation of these concepts than those which are provided by analytical literature (either Isaiah Berlin's dual categorisation which sets positive liberty against negative liberty or the now fixed opposition between liberalism and republicanism). One of the project's results, therefore, is the provision of a principle for explaining the diversity of types of liberalism, which contemporary literature too often endeavours to describe, without reference to the historic moments in their process towards institutionalisation.