Authoritarian Liberalism and the Transformation of Modern Europe: Rejoinder

Forthcoming in European Law Open

LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 05/2022

23 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2022

See all articles by Michael A. Wilkinson

Michael A. Wilkinson

London School of Economics - Law School

Date Written: March 20, 2022

Abstract

This response to critics gives me the opportunity to develop some aspects of the argument in Authoritarian Liberalism and the Transformation of Modern Europe. I do so by foregrounding the concept of political freedom, articulated by Franz Neumann. Authoritarian liberalism operates by suppressing political freedom and democracy. First making its mark in late Weimar, authoritarian liberalism is constructed in a more passive fashion in the decades after the Second Word War. Although it is contested by social movements in the 1960’s and 70’s, it is ultimately reinforced in the turn to neoliberalism. This reaches its apogee at the Treaty of Maastricht, with the de-politicization of economic and monetary union and the deepening and widening of the European Union. German ordoliberalism, which functions as an ideological support to authoritarian liberalism, is instructive, but is only a part of this story; Germany is at most ‘semi-hegemonic’ in Europe. Authoritarian liberalism operates instead through limiting the constitutional imagination in all member states of the Union. I end with some reflections on Walter Benjamin, whose philosophy of history inspired the cover of the book.

Suggested Citation

Wilkinson, Michael A., Authoritarian Liberalism and the Transformation of Modern Europe: Rejoinder (March 20, 2022). Forthcoming in European Law Open, LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 05/2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4062207 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4062207

Michael A. Wilkinson (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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