Reinventing the State: Social Liberalism for the 21st Century (Duncan Brack, Richard S. Grayson, David Howarth eds) was published in 2007 by Politico’s Publishing (ISBN: 978-1-84275-218-0). In it, the twenty-one leading Liberal Democrat authors set out what social liberalism means in the 21st century.
The book was highly influential on the thinking which has led to us establishing the Social Liberal Forum. We are grateful to the Reinventing the State Group for helping us launch and giving us permission to publish a number of chapters from the book on this website. You can find links to the chapters on the right.
From the cover:
This book is about a different way of governing Britain. It is about reinventing the British state so that it delivers social justice and environmental sustainability through a decentralised and participatory democracy. This is social liberalism.
Like all liberals, social liberals believe in the core value of freedom. They hold that the state should as far as possible leave people alone to make their own decisions on how to live their lives, but they believe in addition that freedom is not attainable without a fair distribution of wealth and power.
In Reinventing the State, twenty-one leading Liberal Democrats set out what social liberalism means in the 21st century. They argue for:
- a stronger commitment to social justice, reducing current levels of inequality in income, wealth and social mobility;
- urgent action on climate change, mobilising the resources of public and private sectors in a way unprecedented in peacetime;
- decentralisation of political power, putting local services in the hands of local decision makers;
- re-engagement of people in politics, allowing them to take and use power for themselves rather than treating them as passive consumers;
- valuing non-market outcomes, such as thriving local communities;
- state action to correct the negative outcomes of globalisation;
- the defence of liberal values in the face of terrorism.
A political programme based around social liberal beliefs will be both popular and distinctive. It is the right one for the country and for the Liberal Democrats.
Elspeth Attwooll MEP
Nick Clegg MP
Tim Farron MP
Lynne Featherstone MP
Dr Richard S. Grayson
Dr David Hall-Matthews
Paul Holmes MP
David Howarth MP
Prof. John Howson
Chris Huhne MP
Dr Mark Pack
Matthew Taylor MP
Steve Webb MP