Johannes Gerschewski, Michael Zürn | 2021

Sketching the Liberal Script. A Target of Contestations

SCRIPTS Working Paper No. 10

In this working paper, we aim to make the amorphous concept of “liberal script” more tangible, manifest, and concrete. We do so in three steps. First, we elaborate on the added value of the term “script” for the social sciences. While “script” has been used in other disciplinary contexts, we translate it to the social sciences by delineating it from rival and more widespread terms like institution, order, practice, and ideology. Second, we map different methodological approaches to the empirical study of what the liberal script is. We put forward a reconstructive approach that combines a sociological analysis with a philosophical filter.

Third, we engage into spelling out what the “liberal” in the liberal script could mean. We formulate theoretical expectations about the content of the liberal script, its internal architecture, as well as its varieties.

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