Liberalism Definitions

Feudalism
a system of agrarian-based production that is characterised by fixed social hierarchies and a rigid pattern of obligations
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Divine Right
the doctrine that earthly rulers are chosen by God and thus wield unchallengeable authority; divine right is a defense for monarchial absolutism
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Absolutism
a form of government in which political power is concentrated in the hands of a single individual or small group, in particular an absolute monarchy
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Classical Liberalism
A tradition within liberalism that seeks to maximise the real of unconstrained individual action, typically by establishing a minimal state and a reliance of market economics
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Modern Liberalism
a tradition within liberalism that provides (in contrast to classical liberalism) a qualified endorsement for social and economic intervention as a means of promoting personal development
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The Enlightenment
An intellectual movement that reached its height in the eighteenth century and challenged traditionsl beliefs in religion, politics and learning in general in the name of reason and progress
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Atomism
A beleif that society is made up of a collection of self-interested and largely self-sufficient individuals, or atoms, rather than social groups
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Human Nature
The essential and innate character of all human beings: what they owe to nature rather than society
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Freedom (or liberty)
The ability to think or act as one wishes, a capactiy that can be associated with the individual, a social group or a nation
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Negative Freedom
The absence of external restrictions or constraints on the individual, allowing freedom of choice
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Positive Freedom
Self-mastery or self-realisation; the achievement of autonomy and the development of human capactities
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Paternalism
Authority exercised from above for the guidance and support of those below, modelled on the relationship between fathers and children
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Justice
a moral standard of fairness and impartiality; social justice is the notion of a fair or justifiable distribution of wealth and rewards in society
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Equality
the principle that human beings are of identical worth or are entitled to be treated in the same way; equality can have widely differing application
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Meritocracy
Literally, rule by those with merit, merit being intelligence plus effort; a society in which social position is determined exclusively by ability and hard work
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Puralism
a beleif in the diversity or choice, or the theory that political power is or should be widely and evenly dispersed
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Toleration
forbearence; a willingness to accept views or action with which one is in disagreement
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Law
established and public rules of social conduct, backed up by the machinery of the state: the police, court and prisons
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Government
the machinery through which collective decisions are made on behalf of the state, usually comprising a legislature, executive and judiciary
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State
an association that establishes sovereign power within a defined territorial area, usually possessing a monopoly of coercive power
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Social Contract
a (hypothetical) agreement amongst individuals through which they form a state in order to escape the disorder and chaos of the 'state of nature'
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State of Nature
a pre-political society characterised by unrestrained freedom and the absence of established authority
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Democracy
rule by the people; democracy implies both popular participation and government in the public interest, and can take a wide variety of forms
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Devolution
the transfer of power from central governent to subordinate regional bodies, without (unlike federalism) leading to shared sovereignty
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Liberal Democracy
a form of democracy that incorporates both limited government and a system of regular and competetive elections; liberal democracy is also used as a regime type
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Civil Liberty
the private sphere of existence, belonging to the citizen not the state; freedom from the government
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Civil Society
a realm of autonomous associations and groups, formed by private citizens and enjoying independence from the government; civil society includes businesses, clubs, families etc
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Majoritarianism
a beleif in majority rule; majoritarianism implies either that the majority dominates the minority, or that the minority shoud defer to the judgement of the majority
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Utilitarianism
a moral and political philosophy that evaluates 'goodness' in terms of pleasure and pain, and ultimately seeks to achieve 'the greatest happiness for the greatest number'
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Natural Rights
god-given rights that are fundamental to human beings and are therefore inalienable (they cannot be taken away)
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Human Rights
Rights to which people are entitled by virtue of being a human; universal and fundamental rights
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Utility
use-value; in economics, utility describes the satisfaction that is gained from the consumption of material goods and services
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Mercantilism
a school of economic thought that emphasises the state`s role in managing international trade and delivering prosperity
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Market
a system of commercial exchange between buyers and sellers, controlled by impersonal economic forces: 'market forces'
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Free-market
the principle or policy of unfettere market competition, free from government interference
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Laissez-faire
the doctrine that economic activity should be entirey free from government interference, an extreme belief in the free market
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Market fundamentalism
an absolute faith in the market, reflecting the belief that the market mechanism offers solutions to all market and social problems
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Keynesianism
a theory developed by J.M. Keynes or policy of economic management, associated with regulating aggregate demand to ahcieve full employment
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Individuality
self-fulfilment achieved through the realisation of an individual`s distinctive or uique identity or qualities; that which distinguishes one person from all others
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Altruism
Concern for the interests and welfare of others, based either upon enlightened self-interest or a beleif in a common humanity
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Welfare State
A state that takes primary responsibility for the social welfare of its citizens, discharged through a range of social-security, health, education and other services
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

the doctrine that earthly rulers are chosen by God and thus wield unchallengeable authority; divine right is a defense for monarchial absolutism

Back

Divine Right

Card 3

Front

a form of government in which political power is concentrated in the hands of a single individual or small group, in particular an absolute monarchy

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

A tradition within liberalism that seeks to maximise the real of unconstrained individual action, typically by establishing a minimal state and a reliance of market economics

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

a tradition within liberalism that provides (in contrast to classical liberalism) a qualified endorsement for social and economic intervention as a means of promoting personal development

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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