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COMMUNITARIANISM is characterized by an appeal to the idea of community as means to criticize liberal political theory. According to communitarians, the liberal emphasis on abstract individual rights disregards collective values and the relation between individuals and communities. This quest for community can be found in several countries, especially the United States. Part of its appeal lies in its ambiguity, since community has also been a key concept for conservatives, libertarians, communists, and Marxists.

This idea of community can be traced to Roman political theory, which defined communitate as the commonality or spontaneous consensus of individuals within a group. A similar term, communis, was used to translate the Greek word koinonia and was applied to denote the church community or the Catholic Church as Communitorium. This ...

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