The Main Ideas of Liberal Political Theory

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Examine the main ideas of Liberal political theory It is perhaps safe to say that the most prominent political philosophy in contemporary era is liberalism. Liberalism is based on the ideas of liberal political theorists of the last three hundred years. Among these ideas, the first and most important deals with the question of liberty. Political theorists such as John Locke and John Stuart Mill argued that liberty of individual citizens must be upheld by the state. Mill particularly stated that the state should be liberal by default. The burden of proving that liberty should be restricted or prohibited should lie on the states. Unless they can provide such proof, all citizens should by presumption be at liberty. Locke, Rousseau, and Hobbes stated that liberty could be restricted under certain circumstances. For instance, when the state is threatened by a revolt, and since the state is the guarantor of liberty of all its subjects, the state is justified in curtailing some liberal policies but temporarily. The government under liberal political theory is viewed as a necessary evil. The theory suggests that the power and the role of the state should be minimized. There should also be a balance of power in the state. Democracy is essential for liberal political theory. Citizens should enjoy both liberty and the freedom to elect or, in the absence of liberal political order, overthrow the government. But the liberties of citizens cannot be guaranteed in a state of anarchy.
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