Rooted in late seventeenth-century theories of rights, liberal ideas have brought forth since the nineteenth century a full-edged complex of traditions in moral, political, economic, social, and legal thought. Yet in historiographical debates such complexity is often blurred by presenting it under the uniform terms of a canon. Along with other methods, conceptual history is contributing to the rediscovery of liberalism's diversity. This group of articles compiles three conceptual studies on scarcely explored aspects of the history of liberalism in Denmark, Finland, and Hungary—countries whose political past has only occasionally figured in mainstream accounts of European liberalism. This introductory article is a methodological discussion of the rationale and forms in which liberalism's historical diversity is rendered through comparative conceptual research. After reflecting on the limits of the Anglophone history of political thought to grasp the plurality of liberal traditions, the article examines how transnational conceptual histories recast the understanding of liberalism as a concept, theory, ideology, and political movement.
A Comparative Conceptual Exploration
José María Rosales
A History of Richard Turner’s Eclipse and Resurgence
through reason. In this sense Turner shared a strong resemblance to the liberal tradition in South Africa, evoking comparison with the founder of liberal historiography W. M. Macmillan and the missionary John Philip, to name two examples, who had similarly
The Historiography of African Nationalism in Conqueror South Africa
specifically to liberal historiography, Dladla observes the following: Among the most important objects of [the liberal] critique was that of the widely held assumption that apartheid was anti-capitalist or at least systemically incompatible with capitalism