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Etzioni and his critics

Libertarians accuse Amitai Etzioni of authoritarianism. But the populariser of communitarianism is in fact a classic liberal

There is no doubt about the significance of Amitai Etzioni in current political debate. People may not care to get their tongues around communitarianism, but the Labour government’s rhetoric about balancing rights and duties owes much to his influence. In the US, he has acted as a bridge between academics debating the proper limits to individualism and policymakers anxious to counter its anti-social effects. In Britain, with David Selbourne and Jonathan Sacks, he has done most to propel to the front of public consciousness the need to restore duty and responsibility to public life.

Yet impatience with the man appears…

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