Liberalism at the end of the century

Gerald F. Gaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


At the close of the twentieth century liberalism has apparently vanquished its traditional rivals. However, whatever cause for celebration liberals might derive from their political victories over conservatives and socialists, in an important respect the twentieth century has been a disappointment for liberal theory. The same antinomies or tensions that marked it at the close of the nineteenth century characterize it today. In this essay I show how disputes between liberal individualists and collectivists, and between rationalists and sceptics, have persisted throughout this century. I then examine several explanations for this apparent lack of progress in liberal theorizing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-199
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Political Ideologies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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