Rehabilitating the State in America: Abraham Kuyper's Overlooked Contribution

Timothy Sherratt

The political thought of Abraham Kuyper offers a theory of the state better suited than liberalism to critique and defend it in the contemporary climate of government downsizing. Despite its elegant formulae for the protection of individual liberties, the liberal tradition has failed to contain the American state. Theodore Lowi's juridical democracy fails to correct these deficiencies from within. By contrast, Kuyper's view of the state, grounded in his "sphere sovereignty," holds greater potential for securing public justice a state limited enough to protect the basic liberty of persons and social institutions but energetic enough to arbitrate justice between and among those persons and institutions. Timothy Sherratt is Professor of Political Studies at Gordon College.

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Last Updated: February 9, 2000
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