The Meaning of Liberalism - East and West

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This text provides a perspective on the continuing debate about how liberalism should be defined and what it means in countries with an established parliamentary system, particularly in the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe. The key question the text addresses is: will the specific experience of communism and its aftermath give birth to a new distinct current of liberal thought, or will it simply enlarge the scope of the Western liberal debate? The authors argue that liberalism cannot be reduced merely to private property and free prices, but needs a very complex set of institutions and corresponding law. The contributors to this text come from both sides of the former Iron Curtain. They highlight the richness and diversity of liberalism and discuss different perceptions of liberal thinking in the East and West in the post-modern world.