Beyond Narrow Liberalism

Justin B. Taylor '99


Of growing debate among those concerned with American political culture and democratic theory is the modern conception of liberal democratic theory. This work attempts to broaden our understanding of democracy. I will argue that modern liberalism has narrowed our conception of individual liberty. This narrowed focus has produce a reliance on the use of public regulation and interest group pressure as substitutes for civic engagement. In an attempt to move past a mere critique of narrow liberalism, this essay will develop a research design and an empirical test to measure our current political culture's support for a robust democracy and its future prospects of development.