What is a word/phrase that could be defined as “the conflict between individual liberty and the public interest”?

I.e. the conflict between the state protecting individual rights and the state sometimes violating certain individuals’ rights in order to maintain the general welfare and safety of the population?

1 Answer 1


Some political philosopher might come up with something more specific, but surfing the Internet I find references being made to the conflict or tension betweeen individual interests and the public good.

I've found the phrase:

  • public/private tension OR public-private tension

which, I guess, might be used once the conflict has already been defined: This public-private tension...

  • I went simply with “political tension.” thanks
    – CommaToast
    Apr 12, 2019 at 0:22

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