Political Theory

Culture and Liberty


The colloquium explored the relationship between culture and liberty in both general and concrete terms. The first three sessions focused on the mutual relationship between culture and legal or institutional systems, and the last three sessions explored the impact of particular cultural practices on individual liberty.


Conference Readings

Acemoglu, Daron and James A. Robinson. “Beyond Modernization Theory.” Annals of Comparative Democratization (2018): 26-31.

Alesina, Alberto and Paula Giuliano. “Culture and Institutions.” Journal of Economic Literature 53, no. 4 (2015): 898-944.

Conway, David. “Nationalism and Liberalism: Friends or Foes?” Journal of Libertarian Studies 16, no. 1 (2002): 1-23.

Facchini, Francois. “Religion, Law, and Development: Islam and Christianity – Why Is It in Occident and Not in the Orient that Man Invented the Institutions of Freedom?” European Journal of Law and Economics 29, no. 1 (2009): 103-129.

Inglehart, Ronald. “Mapping Global Values.” Comparative Sociology 5, no. 2 (2006): 115–136.

Inglehart, Ronald and Christian Welzel. “How Development Leads to Democracy: What We Know About Modernization.” Foreign Affairs 88, no. 2 (2009): 33-48.

Leane, Geoffrey W. G. “Rights of Ethnic Minorities in Liberal Democracies: Has France Gone Too Far in Banning Muslim Women from Wearing the Burka?” Human Rights Quarterly 33, no. 4 (2011): 1032-1061.

Levey, Ann. “Liberalism, Adaptive Preferences, and Gender Equality.” Hypatia 20, no. 4 (2005): 127-143.

McCloskey, Deirdre N. “It Was Ideas and Ideologies, Not Interests or Institutions, which Changed in Northwestern Europe, 1600–1848.” Journal of Evolutionary Economics 25, no. 1 (2015): 57-68.

Mises, Ludwig von. Nation, State, and Economy: Contributions to the Politics and History of Our Time. Edited by Bettina Bien Greaves. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2007.

Montesquieu, Charles-Louis de Secondat. The Spirit of the Laws. Translated by Anne M. Cohler, Basia Carolyn Miller, and Harold Samuel Stone. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Siedentop, Larry. Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism. London: Penguin Books, 2014.

Tabellini, Guido. “Ideas or Institutions? A Comment.” Journal of Institutional Economics 12, no. 1 (2015): 43-48.

Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America. Edited by Eduardo Nolla. Translated by James T. Schleifer. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2010.