Resilient Liberalism in Europe's Political Economy. Editato por Vivien A. Schmidt & Mark Thatcher, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013 (2014)
Liberalism has become an extremely confusing word, almost meaningless, especially in English but also in other languages, given that the liberals in the US famously stand at the opposite side of the ideological and political spectrum than what is usually called liberals in Europe. But also within Europe, the tag liberal has been used to refer to extremely heterogeneous ideologies, if not incompatible. Political parties both from the left and from the right use the word liberty in their names in several European countries, and also within the EU Parliament, the group of the so called liberal democrats, the only ones to use a word deriving from liberty in their official designation, gather MPs from national parties that support very different platforms from each other, most of which, moreover, an Anglo-Saxon classical liberal would find it very hard to identify with. In spite of this confusion, Professors Schmidt and Thatcher, the editors of Resilient Liberalism in Europe's Political Economy, chose to use the “l” word in the title of their recent book. By liberalism, here, they mean classical liberalism (to use their own words, 'We deﬁne ‘neo-liberalism’, at its essence, as involving a commitment to certain core principles focused on market competition and a limited state'). In most of the essays composing the book, the possible misunderstanding is avoided by using another expression, neo-liberalism, that has in fact become quite popular in the past years precisely to make things straight.