Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2017
  • Online publication date: June 2019

2 - State and Individual in Political Thought


Liberalism and democracy are wrongly seen as inseparable by many people today – despite the alarming evidence provided by some governments that are democratically elected yet behave in strikingly illiberal ways. But liberalism and democracy are neither necessarily interchangeable nor allied, either conceptually or historically. The playground on which the relationship was forged and first tested was nineteenth-century politics and thought in Europe and America. It was also in the nineteenth century that the diverse meanings of the two terms were debated and established.