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Liberal Values and Socialist Models

Reply to Darrel Moellendorf

Anton D. Lowenberg

In a recent issue of this journal, Darrel Moellendorf evaluates three socialist models of economic organisation in terms of their efficiency and equity attributes (Moellendorf 1997). From the perspective of the cogency of the arguments made within the worldview accepted by Moellendorf, his contribution must certainly be judged a scholarly and thoughtfully written piece. However, as a free’market economist I find the central claim of his article – that any of the three socialist models discussed can successfully reproduce or even approximate the individual freedom and economic efficiency of a private-property rights system – implausible to say the least.

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The Swiss Paradox

Egalitarianism and Hierarchy in a Model Democracy

Marina Gold

The Swiss system of direct democracy is in many ways paradoxical. The federal structure counteracts the formation of centralizing state hierarchies and protects the egalitarian representation of local political interests. Simultaneously, local political structures can have hierarchical and exclusionary effects, especially when democratic processes are turned into values. This article considers the tensions between egalitarian and hierarchical values in Swiss democratic structures in the wake of the rise of anti-foreigner and anti-EU passions harnessed by extreme right-wing parties. These tensions are heightened in the context of global processes that are transforming the structures of the state, as corporate power undermines state apparatuses with the potential to subvert democratic practices.

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Innovations in Israel’s Civics Textbooks

Enlightening Trends in Non-Western Democracies

Sigal Ben-Rafael Galanti, Paz Carmel, and Alon Levkowitz

( Morris et al. 2002: 185 ). More practically, to different extents, civics introduces liberal values, rights, and democratic institutions ( Munck et al. 2018 ), and is sometimes oriented 5toward global citizenship education (GCE), promoting

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A Woman of Valor Goes to Court

Tort Law as an Instrument of Social Change under Multiculturalism

Ella Glass and Yifat Bitton

, acknowledged the ameliorative power of the secular justice system and employed it in its favor. However, with regard to the liberal inclination to consider such legal action as a sign of the law’s potential to bring non-liberal groups closer to liberal values

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Lloyd Kramer Liberal Values: Benjamin Constant and the Politics of Religion by Helena Rosenblatt

Paul V. Dutton Breadwinners and Citizens: Gender in the Making of the French Social Model by Laura Levine Frader

Paul Jankowski The Hunt for Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France by Simon Kitson

Lynne Taylor The Politics of Everyday Life in Vichy France: Foreigners, Undesirables, and Strangers by Shannon Fogg

Rodney Benson Turning on the Mind: French Philosophers on Television by Tamara Chaplin

Elisa Camiscioli La Condition noire: Essai sur une minorité française by Pap Ndiaye

Susan Carol Rogers The Life of Property: House, Family and Inheritance in Bearn, South-West France by Timothy Jenkins

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Christian Egander Skov

The article explores the concept of empire, or rige, in the context of a small nation-state with no immediate claim to imperial greatness and with a rooted self-understanding as anything but an empire. It does this by exploring the concept of empire in the far right movement Young Denmark on the basis of a close reading of their imperialist program in the pamphlet Danmark udslettes! from 1918. Rige had been a vague term for the larger Danish polity that originated in a pre-national conceptualization of the polity as a realm. The article suggests that rige-as-realm was translated by the radical right into a concept of empire. In the process it dramatically changed its emphasis, reorienting itself toward a "horizon of expectation". It became a politically loaded battle concept that then entailed a critique against the dominant liberal conceptualization of the polity and nation. Rige came to signify the ambition of being a great power, the spiritual elevation of the nation through the transcendence of the decaying liberal modernity. The program addressed the tension between a conservative political attitude and modernity and thus signified a kind of reactionary modernism that rejected liberal values while at the same time celebrating technology, industrialization, and the process of modernization.

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Dagmar Herzog

This article analyzes the evolution of sexual politics and cultures in post-unification Germany, tracing these through three stages. First is the more immediate aftermath, in the early to mid 1990s, of ostalgische consternation over the loss of what Easterners understood to be the special qualities of GDR sexual culture, analyzing this consternation in the context of the—mutually conflicting—fantasies that Easterners and Westerners had about each other, replete with Easterners' ideas about how capitalism deforms interhuman interactions and Westerners' ideas about the deformations caused by totalitarian surveillance. A second stage runs from the mid 1990s through to the early twenty-first century, and includes both the convergence between East and West on the governmental policy level and the growing similarities identified in Easterners' and Westerners' sexual habits and mores. The third stage concerns the more recent past of the last five years and emphasizes the paradoxical coexistence of, on the one hand, strong commitment (on both the governmental and popular levels) to liberal values of individual sexual self-determination and toleration of diversity and a general sex-positive climate with, on the other, tremendous anxiety about the rise of European Islam (with its purportedly intrinsic hostility to both homosexuality and female sexual independence) and about the precipitous decline of the German birthrate. Attention is also paid to the newest policy directions with regard to adolescent sexuality and age of consent laws, abortion access, and disability rights.

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Editorial

A Thematic Issue about Central and Eastern European Societies

Zuzana Reptova Novakova and Laurent van der Maesen

Days after the European Union resolved a dispute with Poland and Hungary over a rule of law mechanism that threatened to halt the bloc’s €1.8tn budget and coronavirus recovery fund, the clash between the two sides is widening. Both countries saw opinions go against them in the EU’s top court yesterday. What began as a confrontation over democracy and the law, moreover, is fast becoming a culture war. . . . Despite having a liberal-minded urban youth, Poland and Hungary remain, overall, more socially conservative than many western European societies. For both ruling parties, appeals to family values are popular with their rural, older voter base. But evocations of traditional values also create a narrative that obscures the true nature of the showdown with Brussels and western EU members. This is over democracy and rule of law: judicial reforms, restrictions on media and erosions of checks and balances that help PiS and Fidesz to entrench themselves in power. Instead, the two parties can claim to be fighting back against alleged EU attempts to impose “alien” liberal values on unwilling societies. —Financial Times, 17 December 2020

Over the past decade, the Hungarian leader has boasted of creating an “illiberal democracy” and has faced allegations of cronyism and corruption. Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has only been in power for five years but has also mounted an assault on judicial independence and rule of law in that time. —The Guardian, 9 December 2020

Bearing this division over central values in mind, this special issue steps toward an exploration of the contested region that is Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), shedding light on some of the ongoing complex societal developments that make it noteworthy.

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Editors’ Note

Threats to Academic Freedom

attempted to educate Israelis about liberal values. As usual, we have an eclectic set of book reviews. We review books on radical ultra-Orthodoxy, tombstones, and neo-liberalism, as well as taxation, which turns out to be far more interesting than we tend to

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Yoram Peri and Paul L. Scham

fundamental democratic and liberal values it is built on. Without these values, it will collapse. The higher education system should indeed encourage the entry of Haredim into its institutions, but not at the cost of compromising its principles and losing its