This chapter examines market democracy, a hybrid approach to liberal theory building that combines a concern for private individual economic liberty with a commitment to social justice. As such, market democracy offers an alternative to both classical liberalism and to high liberalism. After explaining exactly what market democracy is, the chapter considers its conceptual space. In particular, it explores why market democracy asserts that economic freedoms should be treated as basic but not absolute, and why it thus allows taxation in support of a limited range of social service programs. The chapter then compares the views espoused by advocates of libertarianism, classical liberalism, and modern or high liberalism. It also looks at market democracy as a research program, its institutional requirements, and the challenges that it faces from both the left and from the right.
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