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Passions and Constraint On the Theory of Liberal Democracy cover
  • ISBN: 9780226349695
  • ISBN10: 0226349691

Passions and Constraint on the Theory of Liberal Democracy

by Stephen Holmes

  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 04/01/1997
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In this collection of essays, Stephen Holmes challenges commonly held assumptions about liberal theory. By reconstructing liberalism's original historical context, Holmes demonstrates that its basic principles provide a plausible foundation for the development of democratic, regulatory, and redistributionist politics in the modern era.

Holmes argues that the aspirations of liberal democracy -- including individual liberty, the equal dignity of citizens, and a tolerance for diversity -- are best understood in relation to two central themes of classical liberal theory: the psychological motivations of individuals and the necessary constraints on individual passions provided by institutions. Paradoxically, these institutional restraints enable, rather than limit, effective democracy.

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