The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty

By James M. Buchanan
Foreword by Geoffrey Brennan, Hartmut Kliemt, and Robert D. Tollison


The thirty-one papers presented in this volume offer scholars and general readers alike a comprehensive introduction to the work of one of the greatest economists of the modern era. Many of Buchanan’s most important essays are gathered in this inaugural volume of the twenty-volume series from Liberty Fund of his Collected Works.

The essays are arranged thematically and so present a complete perspective on Buchanan’s work. The six sections include:

  1. Introduction
  2. Politics without Romance
  3. Public Finance and Democratic Process
  4. The Economist and Economic Order
  5. Ethics and Economics
  6. The Reason of Rules

The editors have focused on papers that Buchanan has written without collaboration and which present Buchanan’s earlier, classic statements on crucial subjects rather than his subsequent elaborations which appear in later volumes in the series. Included, too, is Buchanan’s Nobel address, “The Constitution of Economic Policy,” and the text of the Nobel Committee’s press release explaining why Buchanan was awarded the prize for Economics in 1986. The volume also includes Buchanan’s autobiographical essay, “Better Than Plowing,” in which he gives not only a brief account of his life, but also his own assessment of what is important, distinctive, and enduring in his work. The foreword by the three series editors will be valuable to all readers who wish to engage the challenging but epochal writings of the father of modern public choice theory.

James M. Buchanan (1919–2013) was an eminent economist who won the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1986 and was considered one of the greatest scholars of liberty in the twentieth century.


Jul 1999 | 6 x 9 | 546 Pages

Volume 1

Foreword, introduction, appendixes, name index, subject index.


978-0-86597-214-8 Paperback