This chapter reports the arguments supporting the expansion of ‘democracy’ from its individualistic orientations to an account more able to accommodate the concerns and aspirations of groups. It also presents some account of impartiality. It explores more closely the ‘liberal’ nature of democracy. An overview of the historical development of liberalism and liberal democracy, and their contemporary manifestations is given. It then investigates the current philosophical challenges to liberal democracy. Three underlying themes in Thomas Hobbes (individualism, rationalism, and the promise of material well-being) and one arguably non-Hobbesian notion form the basis of modern liberalism. The recognition of a dark side to toleration was always present throughout the development of liberalism as a political doctrine. The feminist critique of neutrality has at least three different components: state, norms and values, and scientific rationality. Community (group) rights are clearly distinct from affirmative action policies.
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