Liberalism against Etatism (on the Path towards Liberalism of the 21st Century)

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-11-13-22
V. Sheinis (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. In the 20th century, liberalism stood up in a fight against two authoritarian (totalitarian) regimes – the nazi one and the communist one. This lead to conclusion on the “end of history” – the end of the world competition in common forms. It took little time to make sure that sharp turns of historical processes are unpredictable, etatist (authoritarian, statist) regimes are diverse, and liberalism has to argue for its historically superior role in a dispute with them over and over again. In some cases, and in some ways, authoritarian regimes have proven to be more effective than liberal ones. This was discussed by qualified experts at international workshops held in Moscow in 2017–2018. Following these discussions, a book was published in 2019. The proceeding of the dispute is represented in this article. The liberal strategy has been searching for a synthesis of freedom and equality for more than a century. However, in practice, their organic convergence is problematic. It is difficult to balance the aims of liberals and socialists, and therefore, to define possibilities and limits of a dialogue between them. Social state is one of the main ideas that liberal parties bring to elections. But it is hard to compile with material and administrative resources concentration in state hands. Nations are a reality of the modern world. Building and developing civil nations within the borders of one state (and particularly of interstate formations) is the task that has no vivid and familiar solutions. The same as the problem of nation-state sovereignty (the apologetic attitude to which has become widespread) has no simple and unambiguous solution. The apparent success of illiberal (and in some countries – anti-liberal) methods of partial modernization is one of the most ruel surprises sprung on the liberal doctrine and policy by modern world processes. All this makes the promotion of liberal values in Europe and Russia very challenging.

Keywords: liberalism, etatism, social state, nationalism, civil and ethnic nations, “sovereignizator”, illiberal ways of modernization, liberal world and Russia


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For citation:
Sheinis V. Liberalism against Etatism (on the Path towards Liberalism of the 21st Century). World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 11, pp. 13-22.

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