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In Search of European Liberalisms: Concepts, Languages, Ideologies

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Volume 6

European Conceptual History

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In Search of European Liberalisms

Concepts, Languages, Ideologies

Edited by Michael Freeden, Javier Fernández-Sebastián, and Jörn Leonhard

352 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-280-9 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (August 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-281-6 eBook

Hb   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The initiative behind the book—to sketch a history of European liberalism using the conceptual history approach—is an important one for the field. Its diverse contributions are extremely valuable, making available research and perspectives not widely known in English-language scholarship.” • Jonathan Kwan, University of Nottingham


Since the Enlightenment, liberalism as a concept has been foundational for European identity and politics, even as it has been increasingly interrogated and contested. This comprehensive study takes a fresh look at the diverse understandings and interpretations of the idea of liberalism in Europe, encompassing not just the familiar movements, doctrines, and political parties that fall under the heading of “liberal” but also the intertwined historical currents of thought behind them. Here we find not an abstract, universalized liberalism, but a complex and overlapping configuration of liberalisms tied to diverse linguistic, temporal, and political contexts.

Michael Freeden is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. His books explore modern liberal thought, the structure and history of modern ideologies, and the nature of political thinking.

Javier Fernández-Sebastián is Professor of History of Political Thought at the University of the Basque Country. He has published extensively on modern Spanish intellectual history and currently coordinates an on-going project on Iberian Atlantic conceptual transnational history.

Jörn Leonhard is Full Professor in Modern European History at Freiburg University. From 2007 to 2012 he was one of the Founding Directors of the School of History of the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS). In 2015, he was elected member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences.

Subject: History (General)
Area: Europe


List of Figures

Introduction: European Liberal Discourses: Conceptual Affinities and Disparities
Michael Freeden and Javier Fernández-Sebastián

Chapter 1. Habsburg Liberalisms and the Enlightenment Past, 1790–1848
Franz Leander Fillafer

Chapter 2. Formulating and Reformulating ‘Liberalism’: Germany in European Comparison
Jörn Leonhard

Chapter 3. ‘Friends of Freedom.’ First Liberalisms in Spain and Beyond
Javier Fernández-Sebastián

Chapter 4. Liberalism in Portugal in the Nineteenth Century
Nuno Gonçalo Monteiro and Rui Ramos

Chapter 5. The Rise and Fall of ‘Liberalism’ in France
Helena Rosenblatt

Chapter 6. Nordic Liberalisms. Sweden and Denmark in Comparison
Jussi Kurunmäki and Jeppe Nevers

Chapter 7. ‘Liberalism’ and ‘Liberality’. The Liberal Tradition in the Netherlands
Henk te Velde

Chapter 8. A Conceptual Scheme of Polish Liberalism: Six Pillars
Maciej Janowski

Chapter 9. Liberal Politics without Liberal Thought? The Strange Career of Italian Liberalism
Paolo Pombeni

Chapter 10. Encounters with Liberalism in Post-Soviet Russia
Olga Malinova

Chapter 11. Temporal Evolution and Morphological Complexity: The Multiple Layers of British Liberalism
Michael Freeden

Michael Freeden


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