Ksenija Premur, MA


Liberalism is one of the political options in contemporary Europe and enlarging European Union. There are many political parties, which declare to be liberalist or liberal-socialist and which in their political programs declare the values of liberalism. The question is, however, what is exactly to be comprehended under the term "liberalism", "liberalist political option" or "liberalist political party". In nowadays there is a lot of confusion going on when the usage of term such as "liberalist", "communist", "fascist", "socialist" or "democratic" is concerned. Political traditions often lose their authentic meaning and are substituted by colloquial and everyday misleading usage of the main political terms. To such a confusion the mass media often contribute a lot, naming the political options as the part of past political traditions, whereas they had gone through a deep changes both in political orientations and current political programs, as well as the core believes and values they stand for. Thus, to comprehend liberalist political option in a whole and the principle of individual freedom in particular, it is necessary to put an effort in clarifying the notion of liberalism as it is routed deep down in history and the tradition of philosophy of politics and then proceed the research in the direction of comprehending a liberalism as an current political option in understanding the basic principles of liberalist approach to society as well as political regime. Furthermore, there is lot of interesting points in liberalism as a political option in Eastern Europe after the fall of communism, which is of special interest to the research in the framework of the present thesis. In accordance to all above stated, the liberalist understanding of the principle of individualism can be seen to its full meaning and importance from the standpoint of philosophical, economical and political aspects. Full attention to the interpretation of those aspects is given in the analysis of the understanding of principle of individualism in Western and Eastern Europe. Furthermore, the extension of liberal understanding of individual freedom is discussed in the broader field of human rights within the process of enlarging the European Union as well as within the process of globalization, which is the problem discussed in the last chapter of the thesis. Political liberalist ideology is concerned with the problems of principle of individualism, civil society, social justice, liberal state and constitutional government, which are the main notions of liberalist philosophy and ideology. All those principles are based on the main principle of individualism and are developed and structured around the main question, and that is how is individual freedom to be structured in the society and in the relation to the state. On that question two main streams of liberal thought are based. In other words, the question on the importance and the place of government in the open and tolerant society has lead to emergence of two main streams in the liberalist political movement. The first one is called classical liberalism and the second modern liberalism. Classical liberalism argues that government and state should interfere in freedom of individual as less as possible, while modern liberalist argue that state should be responsible for the welfare of men, for providing them social security and stability. That situation has led some theoreticians to believe that liberalism is not coherent ideology and that it suffers from contradictions and contradictory believes and presumptions. The truth is, however, that liberalism has gone under changes, which were due to political, economic and social changes in modern Europe and thus the theory reflects the praxis and is changing with it. The core values of liberalist thought, however, remained the same - emphasis is put on the individual freedom and the principle of individualism. In accordance to all stated, this section of the thesis is concerned with main ideas and liberalist understanding of main principles of relations between individual, society and state, and those are the principle of individualism, the problem of individual freedom, social justice, civil society, the liberal state and constitutional government. Those ideas are traced within the framework of classical and modern liberalism.
The last chapter under the title " Individual freedom and human rights in the enlarging European Union and within the process of globalization" creates the brief outline of the present status of individual freedom and human rights within the framework of the quickly and wide spreading process of globalization. The idealist and liberalist idea stated in the philosophical work of Imannuel Kant are here, as it is already stated earlier, challenging the ideas and philosophical and political course of globalization. The ideal of global state within which every individual would have all human rights and individual freedom guaranteed is nowadays again emerging as the bottom line of how the process of globalization is conducted in the politics of creating world wide social and political structure on the crossroads of different cultures, religious, economic and political systems of different countries. This chapter is the peak of the reflecting on individual freedom and closely connected human rights and questioning the rightfulness of politics in the whole world. In this chapter the problem of freedom and rights of each individual is led to a point on which is the main challenge of contemporary world as the whole. It is seems necessary to give such a broader perspective on the problem of freedom and human rights because only from that standpoint we are able to measure the standards of them on the global level and this is the most important problem the world is faced with today. From that broad perspective we are then able to measure the development we have made so far in Eastern Europe today and the future measures which have to be taken in order to create open and fair society around the world.


The problem of individual freedom in Western liberalist political option can be best seen in the three aspects of liberal thought:

a) The relationship between individual freedom and civil society. That relationship is of primary importance because the main liberal values are individual and the way of accomplishing his or her right in the society. This aspect is both routed in philosophy of politics and sociology, as well as in current political ideologies, which are formed on the basis of deep philosophical understanding of human nature, human rights and the way society should be functioning in order to give an open space to the full development of each individual. The starting point of research of liberal understanding of individual freedom should be thus conducted from the source of philosophy of politics as developed at the beginning of 16th century till nowadays, as it has been shown in the chapter, which has dealt with the historical development of the liberalist idea of individual freedom in the history of philosophy of politics.

b) The relationship between individual and the ways of imposing their rights to fully and interruptedly develop their ideas, potentials and capacities on the free market. This relationship should be researched in the field of capitalist free market economy. The individual freedom and the ways of her or his free imposing the ideas, production capabilities and the right to live, liberty and property, as Lock put it, has economic aspect too because the free market economy is not only the market of goods, services and capital as the final results of individual productive capability, joined in groups who share the same interest, but is also the free market of ideas, which are individually conceived.

c) Political dimension of individual freedom has reached its peak within the process of enlargement of the European Union, as well as within the process of globalization. States are not divided any more and the rules of political game are becoming more and more widespread all over the world. As the fact of implementing liberalist ideas within the framework of global political mainstreams, the requirements of the economic development of free market and the high standards of valuating the human rights, which are both rooted in the concept of individual freedom and civil society, can be expected to be imposed all over the world. The fact is that liberal ideas are incorporated in the political programs of political parties, which don't call themselves liberal but nevertheless stand for the liberal values. The impact of liberalist politics is explained in detail in the first chapter under the title "Historical development of the idea of individual freedom".
In accordance to all above stated, the liberalist understanding of the principle of individualism can be seen to its full meaning and importance from the standpoint of philosophical, economical and political aspects.
It can be stated without any doubt that principle of individualism is not only the core value of liberalist thought as it can be traced back in the history of philosophy of politics from the liberalist thought brought the main ideas into the political force, but the principle of individualism and individual freedom is the main political creed and political value on which the whole system of liberalism as a political option is built up. The principle of individualism, as it was stated above, plays the main role in philosophy of liberalist political thought, the economy of the functioning the free market as well as the political force of modern world. We might without any doubt state that liberalism is focused on the individual and not on the any group or society in the whole. As it was shown in the chapter dedicated to the historical development of the idea of individual freedom, in feudalist society there was no concept of individual or individual needs, believes, values, interests or any other individually conceived idea or need of only one man. The individuals were only the part of some group of people, joined together on some level of social hierarchy - family, village, local community or social class. Furthermore, in feudalism there was no concept of individual who possesses personal and unique qualities. The lives and identity of individual were determined by the character and social position of the group to which they belonged. That group or social identity was passing on from the generations to generation and there was no way that ascribed status of one man could be changed in the course of lifetime. That situation was deeply changed by the brake down of feudalist political and economical system, when the individual choice had taken the place of ascribed status. In the new capitalist economic system man faced the various choices: the serves were no longer tight to the land, so there was opportunity either to stay on the property of the land or to move to the cities and take part in the newly born industrial production.
Not only economical circumstances of the new capitalist way of production, but also a philosophical reflection on the nature of man contributed a lot to the valuing and appreciating the individual freedom. Enlightenment or the Age of Reason proclaimed the individual freedom and natural rights of every man. This believe in the primacy of the individual is characteristic theme of liberal ideology and has important implications for liberal thought. It has led some liberalist to view whole society as the mere "collection" of individuals, which all seek the way of fulfillment their interests, wishes, desires and needs and has no necessary relationship to the other individuals. The only connection between individuals is the necessity of gathering in the interest groups in which every person will satisfy its needs in the most appropriate way. Such a view on the nature of society is often call atomism "…in that it conceives of individuals as "isolated atoms" within society; indeed it can lead to the belief that "society" itself does not exist, but is only, in reality, a collection of self-sufficient individuals. Such extreme individualism is based upon the assumption that the individual is egoistical, essentially self-seeking and largely self-reliant."(1) When it comes to the liberal definition of the human nature, we can say that there is also a historical development of the liberalist understanding of the individual freedom. That development can be divided into two main phases:

a) First, early phase of liberalist understanding of the very nature of the individual can be defined in the view on the individual as self-sufficient, egoistic and egocentric individual. That phase corresponds to the primary accumulation of the capital in the newly formed capitalist society where there were no protection of workers or they were used as the working force in the industrialized production to the full extent and with only one primary idea of developing production results as much as possible. Unions were the natural response to such logic of production and they formed the interest group of workers who tried to satisfy their interests in implying more comfortable working conditions. Basically, however, each and every individual has the basic interest in taking part in the production process and was in that conducted only by the idea of satisfying his or her needs. "C.B. MacPherson characterized early liberalism as "possessive individualism" because, he argued, it regarded individual as the proprietor of his own person or capacities, owing nothing to society for them."(2) The historical phase of braking down the feudalist system and emerging of the primary capitalist system gave rise to such a understanding of the nature of individual.

b) In the later development of liberalist understanding of human nature there has been the flourishing of the optimistic view on the nature of individual. The idea was that individual posses socially oriented consciousness and the feeling of social responsibility. Or, stated in a words of Andrew Heywood: "In contrast, later liberalist… have believed that individuals possess a social responsibility for one another, especially for those not able to look after themselves. Whether human nature is conceived as being egoistical or altruistic, liberals are united in their desire to create a society in which each individual is capable of developing and flourishing to the fullness of his or her potential."(3)

(1)Andrew Heywood, "Political ideologies", MacMillian Press 1992, pp.19
(2)ibid, pp.20

(3) ibid, pp.20

A belief in the supreme importance of the individual leads naturally to a commitment
to individual freedom. Individual liberty is for liberals the supreme political value and, in many ways, the unifying principle within liberal ideology. For early liberals, liberty was a "natural right", as we already saw in the principles of Hobbes' philosophy, and that means an essential requirement for leading truly human existence. It also gave the individuals the opportunity to pursue their own interests by exercising choice. That choice embraced whole spectrum of life, starting from the choice of where to live to the choice of how to live. Later liberalists have seen liberty as the only condition in which people are able to develop their skills and talents and fulfill their potential.(4) Nevertheless, liberals do not accept that individuals have an absolute entitlement to freedom. If liberty is unlimited it can become "licence", the right to abuse others. In "On Liberty" John Stuart Mill argued that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will, is to prevent harm to others".
(5) Mill's position is libertarian, in that he was prepared to accept only the most minimal restriction of individual freedom, and then in order to prevent "harm to others". Or, as Andrew Heywood gives an interpretation of Mill's argument, " Mill distinguished clearly between actions which were "self-regarding", over which the individual should exercise absolute freedom, and those that were "other-regarding", which could restrict the freedom of others or do them damage."(6)

(4)This statement about the early and later liberalist is the summ up of the discussion on liberalism in the book by Gray, J. "Liberalism", Milton Keyness: Open University Press, 1986
(5)Mill, J.S., "Utilitarism. On Liberty and Consideration on Representative Government", London, 1972, pp. 72
(6)Andrew Heywood, "Political ideoligies", pp.20

Mill did not except any restriction upon the individual, which was designed to prevent person damaging himself or herself, either physically or morally. "Such a view suggests, for example" that laws forcing car drivers to put on seat belts or motor cyclists to wear crash helmets are as unacceptable as any form of censorship which limits what an individual may read or listen to. Radical liberals may defend the right of people to use addictive drugs like heroin and cocaine on the same grounds."(7) Although the individual may be sovereign over his or her body and mind, each must respect the fact that every other individual enjoys an equal right to liberty. This has been expressed by the modern liberal John Rawls, in the principle that everyone is entitled to the widest possible liberty, which is consistent with a same liberty for all.(8) Although liberals agree about the value of liberty, they have not always agreed about what it means for an individual to be "free". In his "Two Concepts of Liberty" Isiah Berlin distinguished between a "negative" theory of liberty and a "positive" one. Early or classical liberals have believed that freedom consists in each person being left alone, free from interference and able to act in whatever way they may choose. This conception of liberty is "negative" in that it is based upon the absence of external restrictions or constraints upon the individual. Modern liberals, on the other hand, have been attracted to a more "positive" conception of liberty, defined by Berlin as the ability to be one's own master, to become autonomous. "Self-mastery requires that the individual is able to develop skills and talents, broaden his or her understanding, and gain fulfillment."(9) For John Stuart Mill, for example, liberty meant much more than simply being free from outside constraints; it involved the capacity of human beings to develop and ultimately achieve self-realization. These rival conceptions of liberty have not merely stimulated academic debate within liberalism, but have led liberals to hold very different views about the desirable relationship between the individual and the state.

(7)Arblaster, A., "The Rise and Decline of Western Liberalism", Oxford and Camridge, Mass., Blackwell, 1984, pp.56
(8)Rawls, J., "A Theory of Justice", London, Oxford University Press, 1972
(9)ibid, pp.23

The relationship between individual and the state
Liberalism also involves a commitment to equality. If human beings are thought of, first and foremost, as individuals, they must be entitled to the same rights and the same respect. Liberals believe in universalism, that individuals everywhere possess common or universal features, that they are all of equal moral worth. For example, "…liberals believe that all individuals are endowed with equal rights, which they enjoy by virtue of being human; these are "natural rights" or "human rights". Rights should not be reserved for any particular class or person…. Consequently, liberals fiercely disapprove of social privileges or advantages, which are enjoyed by some but denied to others on the basis of factors like gender, race, colour, creed, religion or social background. Individual should be equal before the law."(10) Although liberals believe in the primacy of individual over society, they are aware that individuals do form social bonds and associations. Individuals are, in fact, only able to pursue their own interests successfully if they enter into relationships with others. Their economic needs can only be satisfied when they cooperate and work together with others, achieving some measure of specialization and the benefits of a division of labour. The concept, which underlies the liberal notion of the society is that of contract. Associations and social groups are formed by individuals entering into contractual agreements with one another. A contract is an agreement, but one which is only binding on its parties if it is entered into voluntarily and in full knowledge of its "terms". Far from fearing that the expression of competing interests and views will lead to fundamental conflict, liberals have tended to welcome a healthy diversity of attitudes and opinions in society. A liberal society is a pluralistic society, composed of a diverse collection of groups and, therefore, one in which a broad range of opinions and views are tolerated. Underlying this liberal preference for a diversity of views and interests in society is the value of tolerance. Tolerance is the willingness to accept views and opinions with which a person may not be in agreement.

(10) Gray, J., "Liberalism", Open University Press, Minneapolis, 1986, pp.134

The social contract argument embodies several important liberal attitudes toward the state in particular and political authority in general. In the first place, it suggests that political authority comes "from below". The state is created by individuals and for individuals, it exists in order to serve their needs and interests. Government arises out of agreement or consent of the governed. Political authority must therefore be legitimate, it must be rightful or acceptable in the eyes of those who are subject to it. This implies that citizens do not have an absolute obligation to obey all laws or accept any form of government. If government is based upon a contract, made by the governed, government itself may break the terms of this contract.
Secondly, social contract theory portrays the state as an umpire or neutral referee in society. The state was not created by a privileged elite, wishing to exploit the masses, but out of agreement amongst all the people. The state therefore embodies the interests of all its citizens and acts as a neutral arbiter when individuals or groups come into conflict with one another. The essential characteristic of any such umpire is that its actions are, and are seen to be, impartial, taken in the interests of all. Liberals thus regard the state as a neutral arbiter amongst the competing individuals and groups within society.


There has been a great revival of liberalism in the countries of Eastern Europe after the fall of Soviet Union, communist regime, declaring the independence of East-European countries and social, political and economic changes and reforms in those countries. Yet, the understanding of liberalism in Eastern Europe is the subject of many confusions and contradictory statement of political, social and economic principles, as it was already stated in the introduction. Jerzy Szacki in his book "Liberalism after Communism" suggests that there are three main characteristics of liberalism in Poland, Check Republic and Hungary nowadays, and those are the lack of clear notion and thus lack of clear political program of liberalist political parties, lack of mass support of liberalist political option and lack of rapid expansion of liberal politics due to the failure of economic miracle, which was expected to take place after the turn to the market economy. Present thesis is mainly concerned about the first aspect of liberal movement in the Eastern Europe, and that is namely understanding of the main notion of principle of individualism. The principle of individual freedom is the point of most striking differences between Western and Eastern Europe, as well as the status, understanding and implementing the human rights in the society in the framework of enlarging European Union and the process of globalization. Liberalism in Eastern Europe is thus on a crossroads, which one path leads into a cohesion of liberalist ideas on political, economic and social structure of modern society and, at the other hand, the collapse of the liberalist option or merging with different other political options, such as democratic and socialist. It is obvious that the liberalist politics in Eastern Europe is quite differently oriented and comprehended in its very main ideas comparing to the Western Europe, so the merging into European Union could probably lead this political option to various interpretations and consolidations with the liberal tradition in Western Europe. This chapter is dedicated to the research of future of liberalist political option in Eastern Europe in this light.
The importance of the attempt to research the understanding of the idea of individual freedom in Eastern Europe after the fall of communism is routed not only in domain of philosophical value of that idea, but also in the interconnectedness of that idea with the attempt of creating liberal, open and democratic society which will - in the process of enlargement of the European Union and within the process of globalization - be able to achieve the high standards of development of the society in accordance with the same standards in Western Europe. The task is not easily solved because the impact of communism and collectivism is still present in the Eastern Europe and has deep influence on the standards of human rights, which are tightly connected with the understanding, appreciating and implementing the principle of individualism in society. While liberalist ideas and value of individual freedom are highly appreciated and implemented in the Western Europe, the Eastern European countries are faced with the lots of difficulties to fulfill all the requirements of Copenhagen criteria not only in developing the free market and market economy or to meet all the requirements and tasks imposed to them by the European Union, but the most sensitive task is to implement mechanisms of protecting and guaranteeing the human rights of their citizens and national minorities. Human rights are tightly connected with the idea of individual freedom. The right of person, who belongs to minority, in the area of religious freedom, equal rights in the society and cultural identity are not always met in Eastern Europe namely because of the lack of appreciating the individual freedom. In that sense, liberalist idea of individual freedom, which in Western Europe has a long tradition and is well implemented in the functioning of the society of whole, is of core value for the political debates in Eastern Europe. The world is composed of sovereign states, which more or less cooperate with one another. Under the constraint of the global problems affecting mankind's development, the pressure to cooperate more closely and to turn from a mere coexistence into active cooperation is objectively increasing. This compulsion in the sphere of international cooperation can also be felt in the field of human rights. The cooperation in the field of human rights, however, meets various problems on the crossroads of different cultures, different socio-economic range of development, as well as different political systems. Nowadays, after the fall of communist regime in Eastern Europe and the process of democratization in Eastern European countries, as well as the enlargement of European Union the striking difference between the level of human rights, which are guaranteed by political system and various actors in the field of protecting the human rights - judicial system, civil society actors, different associations and NGO's - is now transparent. Moreover, with the process of globalization that striking difference is more obviously seen if taken into account Asian countries among which the communist China is still the serious counterpart to the European more or less liberal political system. That difference is, however, not only of political nature, but of cultural and traditional nature as well.
It is obvious that human rights as such, as well as the level at which they are guaranteed to the citizens and mechanisms in the society and the particular state, which contribute to protecting of human rights in the civil society can be seen and analyzed from three main aspects: 1. political system of the given country, which set up the mechanisms of protecting the human rights of its citizens; 2. socio-economic status of the given country, which contributes to the welfare of the citizens and thus guarantee the basic human rights as the right to protect human life, the standards of employment and social protection to the citizens; 3. the culture and tradition of given country as regard to the social climate for developing the cultural human rights such as freedom of religious believes, freedom of minorities and tolerance to a wide range of cultural values in the given country.
Those three aspects provide the necessary ground of analyze of the status and level of human rights not only in Europe, but in global world as well. Already in Europe and enlarging European Union it can be felt that level of human rights is not equal in all countries, nor all states provide the necessary mechanism of protecting the human rights. Communist regime proclaimed the high standard of human rights and it succeeded insofar the basic needs of citizens were fulfilled (employment, social insurance and health care, free schools, etc.), but it failed in regard to cultural human rights as freedom of believe, free speech and free mass-media. While guaranteeing the basic rights, communist regime violated the most of cultural and spiritual needs and rights of citizens. That is still the situation in communist China. After the fall of communism, the newborn states of Eastern Europe met the huge difficulties in the field of protecting the human rights. That was felt in coping with the new institutions, which had to be established in order to introduce, develop and improve the status of human rights. In regard with that, cultural climate changed and all the previous social habits of communication, which were previously conducted by the centralized stated, had to be thoroughly changed. Culture of open dialogue, the instruments of protecting human rights, the mechanism of its implementation in civil society, the rights of minorities and proper mechanism for guaranteeing them, the freedom of speech and public dialogue, the freedom of believe and the freedom and right of choose in any regard of way of life, believe, political believes and acting in the civil society as the rightful and active member of it, the right of pursuing ideas and projects no matter whether they are political or cultural - whole field of understanding and building up the mechanism of providing the human rights in the society had to be changed and harmonized with the European Union. The lack of tradition in the field made it even more difficult.
One of the requirements of Copenhagen criteria is the protection and high standards of human rights in the candidate countries. The task is very difficult to be achieved because of the current political situation, socio-economic status and change of culture in Eastern European countries. The democratization process was the instrument of providing and establishing the acceptable level of human rights introducing various actors in that field. But the change in culture takes much more time then declarative changes in political system or even in socio-economic status of the country. The harmonization process with European Union from "outside the borders" and democratization processes "within" must be properly balanced and support one another in order to improve mechanism of protecting the human rights. That process must be conducted not "from above", but "from the bottom", leaving much more space for the activity of regional and various other members of civil society.
Furthermore, with the process of globalization range of valuating the standard of human rights in the world gets more complicated and thus requires the deep analyze of the conditions needed for human rights to be guaranteed worldwide. In this context three abovementioned aspects of analyze get to be even more emphasized. The problem with third countries obviously can't be solved in the same manner as with the countries of Eastern Europe particularly because of deeply rooted traditions and culture, which don't rise the question of human rights or have different understanding and valuating of the notion of human rights. The traditions and social context in the Islamic countries, for example, have no sensibility for protecting the human rights and thus the rights of women and minorities are highly neglected and violated. Globalization process thus requires different and much more subtle ways of harmonizing the human rights worldwide. Traditions and believes, as well as the social values in the societies of third countries are obstacles to harmonization the standard of human rights, which requires subtle cultural change in the feeling for, appreciating and valuing the human rights. Mechanisms for protecting the human rights in third countries must therefore be guaranteed by the way which doesn't violently interfere with traditions and social values, but change them in a subtle way.


The present thesis is concerned with the influence of liberalist understanding of individual freedom to the status of human rights in the enlarging European Union and within the process of globalization. Starting from the interpretation of liberalist principle of individualism, discussed in detail in historical, philosophical and ideological dimensions of the problem, the impact of liberalist ideas on the protection on human rights might be summed up in the following three areas:
1. political system of the given country, which set up the mechanisms of protecting the human rights of its citizens. In that context, the liberalist political option creates the important factor of contributing to the protection of human rights because of its core believes as the political creed. The importance of principle of individualism, which plays the most important role in the liberalism, is the foundation of protecting and guaranteeing the high level of human rights. Whole society, economical order and political system of the country is, accordingly to the liberalist opinion, built up on the individuals who gather in the interest communities, associations and society as a whole. The natural or human right of the individual is of the supreme value for the liberalist political thought and so shall be protected on all levels of society. The individual freedom is the end and goal of all politics of the given state, so we can expect that cooperation between the states within the process of globalization should be built namely on the core principle and fundamental notion of individual freedom. The revival of liberalism in Eastern Europe shows namely that direction in political debates after the fall of collectivism under the communist regime
2. socio-economic status of the given country, which contributes to the welfare of the citizens and thus guarantee the basic human rights as the right to protect human life, the standards of employment and social protection to the citizens. In this area liberalist political option is also very fruitful because of the understanding of the mechanism that contributes to the development and welfare of the each individual in the society. As it was shown in the interpretation of the liberalist understanding of the individual freedom, individuals have every right to fulfill their needs, wishes, desires and interest in the civil society. The political system and economical framework should guarantee them that fulfillment. If there if satisfaction of the basic needs of each individual in the given political and economical system, there be naturally and high standard of protecting human rights of each individual without any discrimination regarding gender, race, religion, political creed or social status.
3. the culture and tradition of given country as regard to the social climate for developing the cultural human rights such as freedom of religious believes, freedom of minorities and tolerance to a wide range of cultural values in the given country.



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This article deals with the problem of liberal understanding of individual freedom and consequences and impact it has on the political scene of the enlarging European Union and the status of human rights in the European Union as well as within the context of globalization. This problem has been rarely discussed in the present literature on the either liberalism or the enlargement of European Union. The importance of discussing this problem lies in the fact that not all of the political options in the European Union are able to respond to the demands of protecting and guaranteeing the status of human rights. Liberalist option with its understanding of individual as the primary and most important factor in the economy, politics and modern society is the fruitful ground of setting the political framework of the ensuring human rights. Basic understanding of natural or human rights of every man without discrimination of any kind - gender, race, class, religion, political creed - is the main and dominant liberal political creed and at the same time creed, which distinguish liberal political option from other political creeds. This understanding of individual freedom and natural or human rights can be traced back in Middle Ages in pre-liberal thought of philosopher Thomas Hobbes and is further developed in the course of historical, philosophical and political development of liberalism. The emphasis in the present final thesis is thus put on the historical, philosophical and political, ideological premises of development of the liberalism and then shown how the liberalism forms the necessary political and economical ground of the protecting and guaranteeing the high level of standards of human rights in the enlarging European Union and within the process of globalization.