This authoritative text concerns itself with freedom and `alternatives to freedom', based on original survey research of public attitudes to civil and political rights.
It combines and connects explicit and implicit arguments for freedom, with the judgements of public opinion on two levels the general public and politicians encouraging the reader to think about issues both in terms of political theory and public opinion.
The issues considered, all of which may be viewed as alternatives to the narrow conception of freedom as the absence of coercion, are:
* parliamentary sovereignty
* the national interest
* the moral community
Alternate chapters present powerful arguments from political figures such as Lord Armstrong, Lord Jenkins and Roy Hattersley, based on practical experience, and then assess public opinion for each issue.