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Liberty and the Division of Power

  • David Nicholls
Part of the St Antony's book series

Abstract

The proper ends of political action are not self-evident. If there is one thing that a history of political thinking should teach us it is this: that there has been no generally agreed conclusion about what are the proper concerns of government. Some writers insist that the achievement of some kind of ‘just society’ is the end. Others claim that governments should be concerned with happiness; some think that equality must be achieved at all costs. Others again believe that so long as life is protected and order is maintained, a government may do as it will; or put in contemporary jargon, governments should be concerned with conflict resolution. In this chapter I shall attempt to clarify the belief of Figgis and other pluralists of his day about the status of liberty as a principal end in politics, to point to some of the ambiguities in their understanding of the concept of liberty, and to examine their conviction that the realisation of liberty in the modern state, depends upon the dispersion of power and on the existence of vibrant social groups and associations.

Keywords

Traditional Group Universal Jurisdiction Group Loyalty Personal Liberty Religious Liberty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© David Nicholls 1994

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  • David Nicholls

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