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Liberty, equality, fraternity$
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Paul Spicker

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348418

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348418.001.0001

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Conclusion: radical politics

Conclusion: radical politics

(p.159) Conclusion: radical politics
Liberty, equality, fraternity

Paul Spicker

Policy Press

Political approaches are ‘radical’ when they propose fundamental social change. Where radicals consider liberty, equality or fraternity, the kind of social policy they come to favour differs according to the emphasis they place on each. Radical politics has three models. The left-wing libertarian model is committed to liberty first and foremost. The object of social policy is liberation, which is achieved through empowerment, the encouragement of diversity and participation through democracy. The radical egalitarian stands for the elimination of disadvantage, in treatment, opportunity and outcome. Egalitarians emphasise the principles of fairness and social justice, arguing that everyone should have access to the conditions of civilization. The radical collectivist begins with an emphasis on community, solidarity and mutual aid. Collective action is both a means to a desired end and an end in itself. The chapter concludes with an enumeration of three main patterns of opposition from the political right.

Keywords:   radical, social change, liberty, social policy, radical politics, democracy, collective action

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