Professor Xavier Landes is featuring an article on Satori titled "Remembering Judith Shklar: Liberalism as Freedom from Fear"
Professor Xavier Landes claims that Judith N. Shklar (1928–1992) has been partly forgotten, especially when compared to another, prominent, political theorist: Isaiah Berlin (1909–1997).
She was a key political thinker in the 20th century. In addition, she was the first woman to be tenured at the department of Government at Harvard University, also the first female president of the prestigious American Political Science Association.
Finally, she coined the concept of ‘Liberalism of Fear’, which identifies the core liberal tenet as to protect men, women and children from physical and psychological violence and, moreover, from the fear of being subjected to such violence.
"She has been influential in the intellectual formation of many important political theorists, Landes elaborates. Furthermore, her original understanding of liberalism, which posits that the basic test for any liberal order is how it shields individuals from the fear of being a victim of abuse from the state or the powerful, has been key for political thought. This resonates as a warning in a world where populism and illiberal democracy blossom.
And despite that, you have this nagging feeling that her contributions have not been properly acknowledged for some, obscure, reasons. Therefore, this piece titled ‘Remembering Shklar’. Because we need not to forget that she was an important thinker, that she has been a daughter of Latvia, its political turmoil, and the horrors of the 20th century. Moreover, she hammered out powerful conceptual tools for defending liberalism and confronting political cynicism in troubled times."