Beyond the Cold War: Isaiah Berlin for the Twenty-First Century

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts of Liberty” is clearly set within a Cold War context. However, its framework of ideas is also applicable to a range of twenty-first century social and political issues. First, Berlin’s “inversion thesis” concerning liberty captures a salient pattern of thought in radical Islamism. Second, his understanding of the power of belonging and recognition bears significantly on the rise of authoritarian nationalism and populism. Third, his value pluralism implies a critique of global neoliberalism and support for egalitarian liberalism or social democracy. Thus, Berlin’s framework provides us with a set of useful tools for understanding and responding to some of the most urgent political problems that trouble us now. But this framework has limitations and needs to be supplemented by thinking that goes beyond Berlin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalCritical Review
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Isaiah Berlin
  • laissez faire
  • liberalism
  • liberty
  • nationalism
  • neoliberalism
  • pluralism
  • populism
  • radical Islamism
  • recognition
  • redistribution
  • value pluralism

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond the Cold War: Isaiah Berlin for the Twenty-First Century'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this