The course will offer the students a broad overview of history of liberalism and an insight into its inner diversity. The ambition thereby is not merely to acquaint students with selected topics and events from the history of liberalism, but above all to draw their attention to the multilayeredness of this concept, various meanings associated with it and the need for critical reflection in applying political terms such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, etc. in writing history.
Learning about different approaches to studying liberalism through studying relevant literature from the fields of political philosophy, historical study of ideologies, conceptual history and political and social history, the students will be able to reflect on the methodological variety in understanding and employing the concept of liberalism.
By getting introduced to the diversity of historical, regional and national incarnations of liberalism and the latter’s diverging developmental patterns, the students will also gain an insight into some of the causes underlying the sometimes antithetical meanings associated with liberalism in the historical and contemporary political languages.