The liberal thought has been the fuel of modernity. Today, anyway, it ends up by generating a society which puts at risk almost all the liberties. If liberalism wants to survive and prosper in an after-modern society it must activate a new reflexivity, to the point of revising its own anthropological, cultural and political premises as a prerequisite of a nonaddicted economy. In this paper, the author claims that, in order to overcome its shortcomings, liberalism needs a kind of reflexivity based upon a "relational cultural matrix". As a matter of fact, this matrix is already at work in those spheres of civil society that are able to avoid the perverse effects produced by a liberal functional differentiation in the past. On the empirical and normative levels: (a) liberalism is forced to revise the compromise it has established in the past with labourism (socialism) in that configuration of the political system which the Author calls lib-lab (freedom and equality, market and state); (b) in parallel, liberalism needs to establish new relationships between civil society and political society, i.e. between societal citizenship and state citizenship, which means that it has to elaborate new civil constitutions, related to political constitutions, promoting human rights within the civil spheres. In short, the liberalism of the XXI century can avoid its implosion and frustration at the condition of becoming "relational", i.e. by adopting a relational matrix for dealing with a globalised society.
Keywords: Liberalism, Lib-Lab System, Civil Constitution, Relational Sociology, Societal Citizenship