Political Theory

Civilization and Liberty


This conference explored the theme of civilization and its implications for liberty. Readings in each session included a selection from Niall Ferguson's famous work on the theme alongside selected pieces by other authors.


From Liberty Fund

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (vol. 1)

by By Adam Smith
Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner
William B. Todd, Textual Editor

First published in 1776, the year in which the American Revolution officially began, Smith’s Wealth of Nations sparked a revolution of its own. In it Smith analyzes the major elements of political economy, from market pricing and the division of labor to monetary, tax, trade, and other government policies that…

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Additional Readings

Bell, Daniel. The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism [Twentieth Anniversary Edition]. New York: Basic Books, 1976, 1996.

de Soto, Hernando. The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. New York: Basic Books, 2000.

Ferguson, Niall. Civilization: The West and the Rest. New York: Penguin Group, 2011.

Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Fukuyama, Francis. “The End of History?” The National Interest (Summer 1989): 3-18.

Khaldûn, Ibn. The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History. Translated by Franz Rosenthal. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967.

McCloskey, Deirdre N. Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.