ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Viability of the ‘Democratic Liberalism’ Project

From Free to Fair Markets: Liberalism after COVID -19 by Rosalind Dixon and Richard Holden, Oxford University Press, 2022; pp 240, 24 GBP.

Rosalind Dixon and Richard Holden in a new book titled From Free to Fair Markets: Liberalism after COVID-19 have provided strong and, to a great extent, even convincing arguments for governments worldwide to consider rethinking “liberalism” as the model of governance in a post-COVID-19 era. Additionally, the authors have posited “democratic liberalism” as an attractive and viable replacement for neo-liberalism to reorder polity, economy and society. Democratic liberalism, the authors have explained, adopts “fairness” as a new lens for making and doing law, policy and regulation instead of the much older and time-tested free market lens of neo-liberalism.

The central question addressed is one that governments have been struggling to answer: How is one to do governance—law, policy and regulation—that is better, efficient, and fair post-COVID-19? The authors have majorly relied on American and Australian experiences, sparingly on European and Scandinavian examples and on even fewer Asian and African instances to carve out the democratic liberalism project which they have argued is a middle path between democratic socialism and economic nationalism. However, one is quite sceptical about the viability and workability of their model of democratic liberalism, particularly in developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs). Even in the context of developed nations, democratic liberalism project might be found wanting on several counts.

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Updated On : 26th Sep, 2023
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