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Liberal Solidarity
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Liberal Solidarity

The Political Economy of Social Democratic Liberalism

9781800882188 Edward Elgar Publishing
Geoffrey M. Hodgson, Professor in Management, Institute for International Management, Loughborough University London, UK
Publication Date: 2021 ISBN: 978 1 80088 218 8 Extent: 328 pp
The twenty-first century has seen major challenges to freedom and democracy. Authoritarianism is on the rise and democracy is in retreat. Some promote individualism and markets as the solution to almost every problem. On the other side there are those who champion collectivism and full public ownership. Neither side is convincing. Unrestrained capitalism has exacerbated inequality. Socialism in practice has ended democracy. Effective defenders of liberty and human flourishing must find a different course. This book argues for a pragmatic, social democratic liberalism that avoids unrealistic extremes and tackles major problems such as inequality and climate change.

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The twenty-first century has seen major challenges to freedom and democracy. Authoritarianism is on the rise and democracy is in retreat. Some promote individualism and markets as the solution to almost every problem. On the other side there are those who champion collectivism and full public ownership. Neither side is convincing. Unrestrained capitalism has exacerbated inequality. Socialism in practice has ended democracy. Effective defenders of liberty and human flourishing must find a different course. This book argues for a pragmatic, social democratic liberalism that avoids unrealistic extremes and tackles major problems such as inequality and climate change.

This book is a topical and powerful statement of social democratic liberalism. It will be of interest to anyone concerned about modern politics, including those in universities and political parties
Critical Acclaim
‘Large-scale socialism has failed, but markets alone are not the solution, says Geoffrey Hodgson in this highly engaging and readable book. To meet the many challenges we face today, what we need is “liberal solidarity,” or what he also calls a regenerated form of “social democratic liberalism”. We must begin by recognizing one essential fact: Bentham was wrong. Human beings are not just pleasure-seeking, utility-maximizing creatures. They have deep moral sentiments and dispositions that cause them to understand their obligations to others. Full of insights and suggestions, this is a compelling read.’
– Helena Rosenblatt, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, US
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction to Liberal Solidarity: The Political Economy of Social Democratic Liberalism 2. On the evolution and diversity of liberalisms 3. On the rights and wrongs of individualism 4. Liberty, autonomy and needs 5. The worm that is gnawing at the insides of our civilization 6. The evolution of human nature and moral judgment 7. Markets, motivations and morality 8. Is everything already a market? 9. The necessity of democracy – and its limits 10. Capitalism, socialism and the climate crisis 11. Reducing inequality – and a general conclusion References Index
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