Contemporary politics is dominated by a liberal creed that champions ‘negative liberty’ and individual happiness. This creed undergirds positions on both the right and the left – free-market capitalism, state bureaucracy and individualism in social life. The triumph of liberalism has had the effect of subordinating human association and the common good to narrow self-interest and short-term utility. By contrast, post-liberalism promotes individual fulfilment and mutual flourishing based on shared goals that have more substantive content than the formal abstractions of liberal law and contract, and yet are also adaptable to different cultural and local traditions.
In this important book, John Milbank and Adrian Pabst apply this analysis to the economy, politics, culture, and international affairs. In each case, having diagnosed the crisis of liberalism, they propose post-liberal alternatives, notably new concepts and fresh policy ideas. They demonstrate that, amid the current crisis, post-liberalism is a programme that could define a new politics of virtue and the common good.