Essay on Analysis of Liberalism and Democracy

Essay on Analysis of Liberalism and Democracy

Length: 1083 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Analysis of Liberalism and Democracy
Liberalism has an ambivalent relationship with democracy, as liberals
are against collective power, but support political equality. In the
nineteenth century liberals were often opposed to democracy as they
saw it as a threat to individual rights - the people are not a single
entity but rather a collection of individuals with different opinions
and interests, and so it is impossible for every view and opinion to
be respected. Since the twentieth century most liberals have come
round to the idea of democracy, and support it, but they still have
reservations.

Liberals defend democracy for a variety of reasons. First of all it
ensures public accountability. This gives the people a degree of
protection against governments becoming too strong. Liberals believe
in limited government, and democracy provides this system, as the
government is accountable to the people. Although most liberals would
agree that government is essential in order to defend the rights of
the people, it can also be seen as a threat to individual liberty, so
people need some form of protection against it.

According to John Stuart Mill, ‘the only purpose for which power can
be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community,
against his will, is to prevent harm to others’. Therefore, the role
of government is to protect the liberty of individuals against others
who may seek to exploit them for their own gain. In the liberal view,
government powers should not extend beyond this minimal role. However,
government officials may exploit their position for their own personal
gain, and therefore the people should have a ...


... middle of paper ...


...this also links with the liberal idea of limited
government - the state should not become involved with the economy, or
any other matter which does not concern the protection and defence of
human rights.

In conclusion liberalism is not entirely compatible with democracy -
some important liberal ideas, in particular the principle that every
individual opinion should be taken into account, directly conflict
with the system of democracy. However, in many other ways democracy
does correspond with liberal values - it provides political equality
for example, and protects the rights of the people against overly
strong governments. In general, I feel that liberalism has been able
to adapt and fit in with democracy, despite the problem of trying to
balance popular participation against the protection of individual
rights.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Are the Values of Liberalism Universal Essay

- This is an immensely complex questions which deserves much more time and space than can be devoted in this essay. However I will endeavor to apply the theories of a number of authors to the problem and arrive at a reasonable conclusion based upon my analysis of them. Throughout the course of the essay I will make reference to a number of authors, writing on subjects of Ethics, Philosophy and Feminism, with the intention of attempting to divine the validity to the claim of liberalism’s universality....   [tags: liberalism, universal, ]

Strong Essays
2528 words (7.2 pages)

The Role Of Democratization Within International Law Essay

- Within this essay, I will be using the work of Fox and Roth (2001) to identify the emergence of democratization within international law. Firstly, I will explain the context of democracy and international law. I will then summarise key points made by Fox and Roth (2001) in which I will draw upon liberal theory to analyse their key points. Finally, I will conclude acknowledging the growth of democracy within international law whilst identify the overlaps. International law in its simplest form is “the collection of Rules and norms that states and actors … commonly do obey” (Henderson, 2010.pg5) with its origin from the “1648 treaty of Westphalia” (Henderson, 2010.pg10), in which European stat...   [tags: Liberalism, Democracy, Human rights]

Strong Essays
1561 words (4.5 pages)

Definition Of Realism, Liberalism And The English School Theorise And A Cold War

- Thesis statement: Due to the anarchic system within international society, state actors exhibit aggressive behavioural tendencies through regimes, norms, rules and principles that make it impossible to achieve world peace. Plan of investigation: It is the purpose of this essay to use Realism, Liberalism and the English School theorise and correlate them with their appropriate historical era that explores and demonstrates political examples of regimes, norms, rules and principles that exhibit how achieving world peace as impossibility in international society....   [tags: War, Peace, Democratic peace theory]

Strong Essays
1476 words (4.2 pages)

Evaluating the European Union in Terms of Democracy Essay

- The European Union (EU), since the initial foundation in 1952 as the European Coal and Steel Community and throughout periods of development, has been considered one of the most advanced forms of regional integration. Based on numerous terms and treaties, it has strived to promote values such as peace, cooperation or democracy, and in 2012 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for having “contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe” (Nobel Media AB, 2012)....   [tags: forms of regional integration]

Strong Essays
1599 words (4.6 pages)

Analysis Of The Film ' Snowpiercer ' Essay example

- In this essay I will analyze the film Snowpiercer, and relate how the themes in it are relevant not only to key theorists, but to current political issues as well. The post apocalyptic world presented in the film Snowpiercer serves as stage, wherein the ideas of neo-liberalism, slow violence, and biopower are practiced in their most basic forms, without traditional governmental intervention. Moreover, the conductor of the train’s implementation of these ideologies is essential in conveying the message that Snowpiercer serves as a valuable cautionary tale, amidst the current American political discourse....   [tags: Political philosophy, Democracy, Michel Foucault]

Strong Essays
1840 words (5.3 pages)

Social Democracy - Pluralism Essay

- Social Democracy Pluralism By definition - A system of government that allows and encourages public participation, particularly through the activities of pressure groups seeking to influence the government. Traditional socialism has always been associated with an analysis of society that class differences are crucial, in particular the middle classes - those who have gained to the working classes expense - summarised, the two classes interests are in conflict. Social democrats believe society is far more complex than a class interest struggle, and this concept becomes outdated in a pluralist society - a community of individuals and varied interests....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
502 words (1.4 pages)

Are Democratic States More Peaceful? Essay

- Democratic states are perceived to be more peaceful because “democracies do not attack each other.” The proposition that democracies never (or rarely; there is a good deal of variation about this) go to war against one another has nearly become a truism. Since Michael Doyle’s essay in 1983 pointed out that no liberal democracy has ever fought a war with another democracy , scholars have treated pacifism between as democracies, “as closest thing we have to an empirical law in international relations.” The democratic peace proposition encourages hope for a new age of international peace....   [tags: Political Systems, Liberalism]

Strong Essays
2382 words (6.8 pages)

Initiative and Ideologies: Liberalism and Social Democracy as Applied to Modern Legislation

- In 2004 a Swiss banker called the upper class’ demand for increasingly high salaries as “a call to class warfare from above.” (Baer) The new decade has seen outcry against a growing discrepancy in wealth. The global financial crisis exacerbated the already prominent fiscal divide. Ideological thinkers have been wrestling with resolution of this exact divide for centuries. Modernly Switzerland has attempted to regulate monetary divides by banning bonuses and mandating shareholder consent in major decisions....   [tags: Switzerland, Democracy, Liberalism]

Strong Essays
1107 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The War on Terror

- Introduction Ten years ago, the German government decided about the involvement in the ‘war on terror’ and his Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the intervention in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). This decision based on the resolutions 1368, 1378, 1383 and 1386 of the Security Council of the United Nation from November and December 2001. These resolutions legitimated the general conditions for the intervention from the perspective of the international law....   [tags: Afganistan, Neo-Realism, Neo-Liberalism]

Strong Essays
2651 words (7.6 pages)

Essay about The Philosophical Establishment For American Culture

- the philosophical establishment for American culture, which considers and supports differential accomplishment by people. Government 's chief quality uniformity is regularly exceeded inside of this structure. Americans of the establishing period lived, as we twenty-first century Americans do, in a request loaded with the strain between the liberal and the democratic traditions. This chapter expresses that the constitutional structure that was set down amid the establishing period was framed more from the standards of radicalism than those of vote based system....   [tags: Ethics, Sociology, Liberalism, Policy analysis]

Strong Essays
1156 words (3.3 pages)