The Contours of Cold War Liberalism (Berlin’s in Particular)

  • Jan-Werner MüllerEmail author
Part of the Asan-Palgrave Macmillan Series book series (APMS)


The chapter analyzes the contours of Cold War liberalism more broadly. Three central elements, which mutually supported each other, are identified: first, philosophical positions that can best be summed up with the concepts value pluralism and anti-determinism. Second, a set of distinct political principles, in particular a defense of negative liberty as the genuinely liberal conception of freedom and, in addition, liberal constitutionalism (which was not at all the same as an outright endorsement of electoral democracy, or a concern with electoral democracy as intrinsically valuable). Third, there was an insistence on a decent measure of social provision (or, put more directly: a sort of social democracy). Berlin’s political thought exhibits all these features to some degree and is analyzed accordingly.


Value pluralism Anti-determinism Negative liberty Constitutionalism Social democracy 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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