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5. New Liberalism: Keynes and the Welfare State
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the emergence of new liberalism (or welfare liberalism) at the beginning of the twentieth century, focusing in particular on: (i) John Stuart Mill’s Principles of Political Economy (1848) and his increasing doubtfulness about the principle of non-intervention; (ii) the importance of the Great Depression of 1873–1896 in undermining confidence in laissez-faire economics; (iii) John Maynard Keynes’ (1883-1946) criticism of liberal economics in The End of Laissez-Faire (1926) and his arguments for why it had been so popular in the first place; (iv) the work of J. A. Hobson (1858-1940) and Leonard Hobhouse (1864-1929), who claimed that the idea of liberty was meaningless without a certain base level of health or education, and their argument for a much broader conception of ‘liberty’; (v) the importance of the state in providing the basic conditions of living (e.g. education, healthcare, etc.) for individuals to enjoy their ‘liberty’; and (vi) Keynes’ views on the economy, in which he argues for the state to adopt a much bigger role in the management of the national economy.
In this course, Professor Jeremy Jennings (King’s College, London) provides an overview of Liberalism from its origins to the present day. In the first module, we provide a broad introduction to liberalism as a political philosophy, focusing in particular on its origins in the sixteenth century and its evolution between the seventeenth and twenty-first centuries. In the second module, we look more closely at the development of liberalism in the 17th and 18th centuries, focusing in particular on the works of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Mary Wollstonecraft. In the third module, we think about the contribution to liberalism of John Stuart Mill, before turning in the fourth module to the application of liberalism to the economic sphere. In the fifth module, we think about the emergence of new liberalism at the beginning of the twentieth century, focusing especially on the work of John Maynard Keynes, J. A. Hobson, and Leonard Hobhouse, before turning in the sixth module to consider the development of liberalism in the post-war period and the works of Raymond Aron, Karl Popper, Isaiah Berlin and (especially) Friedrich Hayek. Finally, in the seventh module, we focus on one of the most important work of political philosophy in the last fifty years – John Rawls’ Theory of Justice.
Jeremy Jennings is Professor of Political Theory at King's College, London. His research focuses upon the history of political thought in France. He is presently finishing a book provisionally entitled Travels with Tocqueville and is acting as co-editor of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of French Thought. A larger, long-term project is to write a history of the concept of liberty.
Cite this Lecture
Jennings, J. (2020, February 11). Liberalism - New Liberalism: Keynes and the Welfare State [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/liberalism/new-liberalism-keynes-and-the-welfare-state
Jennings, J. "Liberalism – New Liberalism: Keynes and the Welfare State." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 11 Feb 2020, https://massolit.io/courses/liberalism/new-liberalism-keynes-and-the-welfare-state