"The Limits of Liberty is concerned mainly with two topics. One is an attempt to construct a new contractarian theory of the state, and the other deals with its legitimate limits. The latter is a matter of great practical importance and is of no small significance from the standpoint of political philosophy."—Scott Gordon, Journal of Political Economy James Buchanan offers a strikingly innovative approach to a pervasive problem of social philosophy. The problem is one of the classic paradoxes concerning man's freedom in society: in order to protect individual freedom, the state must restrict each person's right to act. Employing the techniques of modern economic analysis, Professor Buchanan reveals the conceptual basis of an individual's social rights by examining the evolution and development of these rights out of presocial conditions.
The quest for freedom has always been as much a battle of ideas as it is a popular struggle. Seminal classical liberal thinkers such as John Locke and Adam Smith stressed the inherent worth of the individual, inalienable rights, the rule of law, and the benevolent consequences of the cooperative, peaceful pursuit of one's own happiness. These ideas became the intellectual scaffolding for much of humankind's most fundamental civil institutions and achievements. The Challenge of Liberty restores the ideas and ideals of classical liberalism as the intellectual and cultural roots of free societies regarding individual rights, human dignity, market processes, and the rule of law. In so doing, this unique book reveals why nationalism, bureaucracy, and dehumanization are foils of classical liberalism, including as they affect such diverse issues as defense, healthcare, education, and commerce. - Back cover.
This book assesses the evolutionary sustainability of liberalism. The book’s central claim is that liberal institutions ultimately weaken their social groups in the evolutionary process of inter-group competition. In this sense, institutions relying on the liberal satisfaction of preferences reveal maladaptive tendencies. Based on the model of multilevel selection, this work appraises the capacity of liberal democracy and free markets to satisfy preferences. In particular, the book re-evaluates public choice theory’s classic postulate that free markets are a suitable alternative to the shortcomings of western liberal democracies regarding preference satisfaction. Yet, the book concludes that free markets are not a solution to the problems of liberal democracy because both market and democratic liberal institutions rest on the liberal satisfaction of preferences, an ethic which hurts group evolutionary fitness. This volume is of interest to political theorists, evolutionary ethicists, political economists and to general readers interested in the future of liberalism.
In this volume, Dr Bunce (University of Cambridge) introduces Hobbes' ambitious philosophical project to discover the principles that govern the social world. If Hobbes' immodest assessment that he successfully attained this goal may be disputed, Bunce nevertheless captures the extraordinary enduring value of Hobbes' work for the contemporary reader. Thomas Hobbes's name and the title of his most famous work, Leviathan, have come to be synonymous with the idea that the natural state of humankind is 'nasty, brutish, and short' and only the intervention of a munificent overlord may spare men and women from this unenviable fate by imposing order where there would otherwise be chaos. The problem that Hobbes formulated resonates through the centuries as the enduring dilemma of political organisation and social cooperation. Indeed it can be seen today in fields as diverse as theoretical game theory and international relations.
"This is a book about who we are today, and how we have become who we are. It is about the engineers of the modern soul, the entrepreneurial self. It is essential reading for all those who care about the incessant demands placed on us to become more than we are, to become entrepreneurs of our selves, to maximise and optimise our capacities in ways that align personal identity and political responsibility." - Professor Peter Miller, London School of Economics & Political Science Ulrich Bröckling claims that the imperative to act like an entrepreneur has turned ubiquitous. In Western society there is a drive to orient your thinking and behaviour on the objective of market success which dictates the private and professional spheres. Life is now ruled by competition for power, money, fitness, and youth. The self is driven to constantly improve, change and adapt to a society only capable of producing winners and losers. The Entrepreneurial Self explores the series of juxtapositions within the self, created by this call for entrepreneurship. Whereas it can expose unknown potential, it also leads to over-challenging. It may strengthen self-confidence but it also exacerbates the feeling of powerlessness. It may set free creativity but it also generates unbounded anger. Competition is driven by the promise that only the capable will reap success, but no amount of effort can remove the risk of failure. The individual has no choice but to balance out the contradiction between the hope of rising and the fear of decline. Ulrich Bröckling is Professor of Cultural Sociology at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany.
Nobel laureate in economics James Buchanan has been called--and indeed, calls himself--an outsider in American economics. Original and even unorthodox in his pioneering contributions to public choice theory and variously revered or berated for his influence on the economic policies that took hold in the Reagan years, he has stimulated a productive vein of economic inquiry and an important strain of public policy. First published in 1992 under the title Better Than Plowing And Other Personal Essays, this collection of autobiographic writings was hailed as engaging, honest, and fascinating. The four new chapters of the present volume fill some gaps in his earlier reflections and add valuable assessments of the roots of his academic work. Economics from the Outside In provides a fascinating look at the humble origins and academic development of a recipient of the Nobel Prize, the intellectual underpinnings of a key American economic policy, and the role of the academician in today's society.
In 1962, economists James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock published The Calculus of Consent, in which they developed the principles of public choice theory. In the fifty years since its publication, the book has defined the field and set the standard for research and analysis. To celebrate a half-century of scholarship in public choice, Dwight Lee has assembled distinguished academics from around the world to reflect on the influence of this monumental publication, and, more broadly, the legacy of its legendary authors. Their essays cover a broad spectrum of topics and approaches, from the impact of public choice theory on foreign policy analysis to personal remembrances of learning from and collaborating with Buchanan and Tullock. The result is a unique collection of insights that celebrate public choice and its visionary proponents, while considering its future directions.
Entrepreneurship is the engine of economic progress, but mainstream economic models of economic growth tend to leave out the entrepreneurial elements of the economy. This new book from Randall Holcombe begins by identifying areas in which evolutionary and Austrian approaches differ from the academic mainstream literature on economic growth, before moving on to distinguish growth from progress. The author then analyzes economic models of the firm based on the idea that it is entrepreneurship that drives economic progress. The book should prove to be a natural successor to recent Routledge books by Frederic Sautet and David Harper.
The Prisoner's Dilemma is one of the most fiercely debated thought experiments in philosophy and the social sciences, presenting the simple insight that when two or more agents interact, the actions that most benefit each individual may not benefit the group. The fact that when you do what is best for you, and I do what is best for me, we end up in a situation that is worse for both of us makes the Prisoner's Dilemma relevant to a broad range of everyday phenomena. This volume of new essays from leading philosophers, game theorists, and economists examines the ramifications of the Prisoner's Dilemma, the directions in which it continues to lead us, and its links to a variety of topics in philosophy, political science, social science, economics, and evolutionary biology. The volume will be a vital and accessible resource for upper-level students as well as for academic researchers.