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Stears, Marc. “Beyond the logic of liberalism: Learning from illiberalism in Britain and the United States.” Journal of Political Ideologies 6, no. 2 (2001): 215-230.


This paper analyses recent discussions of the role of illiberal ideologies in Britain and the United States in an attempt to tease out their implications for our understanding of contemporary liberalism. The paper suggests that these accounts present compelling reasons for conceiving of liberalism not as a dominant political culture but rather as an ideology that has often struggled in competition with powerful rivals. The paper further contends, however, that the available accounts of that struggle present an over-polarized account of the dichotomy between liberalism and illiberalism, an account that entails misunderstanding the political positions which liberals have adopted in order to survive in ongoing ideological competition.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.