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Karlson, N (2019). The Idea Vacuum of Liberalism and the Quest for Meaning and Community. Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, 139(2-4), 259-270. https://doi.org/10.3790/schm.139.2-4.259
Karlson, Nils (2019). "The Idea Vacuum of Liberalism and the Quest for Meaning and Community" Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, vol. 139no. 2-4, 2019 pp. 259-270. https://doi.org/10.3790/schm.139.2-4.259
Karlson, N (2019). The Idea Vacuum of Liberalism and the Quest for Meaning and Community. Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 139 (Issue 2-4), pp 259-270. https://doi.org/10.3790/schm.139.2-4.259

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The Idea Vacuum of Liberalism and the Quest for Meaning and Community

Karlson, Nils

Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 139 (2019), Iss. 2-4 : pp. 259–270

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Karlson, Nils, Linköping University and the Ratio Institute, Sveavägen 59, 103 64 Stockholm, Sweden.

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Abstract

Liberalism is losing ground, while populist or even authoritarian nationalist regimes are on the rise. This article argues that the causes of the decline are, at least partly, endogenous, that a narrow focus on economic efficiency and the successful critique of socialism and the welfare state have created an idea vacuum that has opened up for these illiberal tendencies. The conclusion is that a central challenge for liberalism is to offer a comprehensive idea and narrative about meaning and community that is not socialist, conservative or nationalist, but distinctly liberal, to counter these developments.