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Libertarian Politics: A Socio-Cultural Investigation

Williams, Robert (2015) Libertarian Politics: A Socio-Cultural Investigation. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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This thesis is a case study of Libertarian Party (LP) electioneering in the American bellwether State of Ohio. Officially established in 1972, America's growing LP currently ranks first amongst third parties in their electoral challenge to Democrats and Republicans. Nonetheless, growing duopolist hegemony in the form of the U.S. two-party system has greatly diminished a long and lively history of third party resistance. A survey of American cultural logics and political economy from colonial forms to garrison state constructions together reveal an ideology of party duopoly to serve elite hegemony. The thesis then moves to examine the manner in which Old Right proto-libertarians coalesced into a Libertarian movement. As a socio-cultural investigation of unwanted segments formerly with the Republican Party and their struggles with one another to socially construct the LP, this study is rare. Whilst highlighting interactionist complexities amongst Libertarian segments, the employment of a Rothbardian conflict perspective serves to illuminate a formerly prominent segment within the Libertarian movement. Non-Rothbardian conflict perspectives in synthesis with theories of culture are also drawn upon to broadly interrogate three major segments in their collective social constructions of Libertarian electioneering: classical liberal proponents of small involuntary government, Randian advocates of limited involuntary government, and Rothbardian purists for voluntary government. How the rationalisation of corporative cultural logics impacts upon shared meanings, social constructions, and practices of LP electioneering is also explored. The central argument in this thesis is that segments vie for power to define libertarianism and the LP, but do so within culturally determined codes and parameters. The resulting interpretation in this thesis demonstrates how seemingly paradoxical social constructions of electioneering as Libertarian emerge from corporative ationalisation. Nonetheless, corporative organisational reforms have overcome a range of differentiating factors to achieve greater cooperation between remaining segments after a recent exodus of purists. The result of the corporative turn in Libertarian politics led to rising prominence for an ideology of electability that invariably reinforces the status quo.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Elizabeth Boulton
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2016 15:44
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 17:28


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