What Criteria might be used to Define a State as Liberal Democracy - Essay Example

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What Criteria might be used to Define a State as Liberal Democracy

The liberal state can be explained as an opposition of the individual against the norms of custom, tradition, and religion (Barry et al 2001, p. 3). As a result, the liberal inherently distrusted the imposition of any authority over the individual and the forces of the marketplace. Democracy is a means by which members of a community could ensure equality while working to achieve common goals and aspirations.
Liberal democracy can be defined as a political system in which the application of state power is curtailed in several specific ways. The first, most important constraint is the clear separatior if the private and the public realms. Any explicit attempt to merge the two is considered illegitimate. Liberal democracies are also political systems in which any application of political power must be sanctioned by law and a certain degree of equality before the law is accorded all citizens. Political power is subject to popular control through regular, open, and reasonably fair elections in which at least two parties compete for power. Finally, while there may not be a constitutional separation of secular and clerical authorities, the former has prevailed over the latter, at least in recent times. ...Show more


Liberal democracy needs power like any other kind of state so they also curtail this very same power in order to maximize the individual's autonomy from the state. There thus exists a constant tension that is inherent in liberal democracies…
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