‘’THROUGHOUT HISTORY, LIBERAL PARTIES HAVE AIMED TO RECONCILE THE TENSION BETWEEN INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND ECONOMIC FREEDOM’’
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This thesis aims to examine the relationship between liberal ideology and environmental concerns by liberal parties. It provides a closer examination of how classical and modern liberal ideas influence varying types and degrees of environmental concerns by liberal parties. This study is conducted by a content analysis that connects liberal parties’ environmental concerns, measured by their environmental policy proposals, to their liberal philosophical origins. This method has been applied to the election manifesto 2021-2015 by the liberal VVD and D66 in the Netherlands. The results suggest that classical liberal and modern liberal ideas on the role of the state and a notion of humans interact differently with liberal parties’ environmental concerns. These classical liberal ideas seem to be associated with an environmental concern, inspired by the protection of human interest, whereas modern liberal ideas are associated with an environmental concern that is defined by responsibility for humans as well as nature. Essentially, this divergence can be explained by a distinct understanding of freedom between classical and modern liberals. The findings of this comparative case study highlight the relevance to closer examine the tensions that reside within liberalism that shed a light on the varying types and degrees of environmental concern that are hidden behind the mainstreaming of environmentalism by political parties in general.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen