The political philosophy of liberalism was first formulated during
the Enlightenment in response to the growth of the modern
nation-state and its authority and power over the individuals
living within its boundaries. Liberalism is now the dominant
ideology in the Western world, but it covers a broad swathe of
different (and sometimes rival) ideas and traditions and its
essential features can be hard to define. The Cambridge Companion
to Liberalism offers a rich and accessible exploration of
liberalism as a tradition of political thought. It includes
chapters on the historical development of liberalism, its normative
foundations, and its core philosophical concepts, as well as a
survey of liberal approaches and responses to a range of important
topics including freedom, equality, toleration, religion, and
nationalism. The volume will be valuable for students and scholars
in political philosophy, political theory, and the history of
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