Political Theory

Liberty and Democracy


Recently, new theoretical approaches have challenged the premise of rationality, as well as other assumptions, behind much of Public Choice. These new approaches, however, have not modified the original diagnosis regarding the many failures of democracy. The purpose of this conference was to evaluate the validity of all these challenges to democracy, as well as their implications for institutional design.


Conference Readings

Buchanan, James and Gordon Tullock. The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan, Volume 3: The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1999.

Buchanan, James M. The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan, Volume 1: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1999.

Caplan, Bryan. The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007.

Gutmann, Amy and Dennis Thompson. "Why Deliberative Democracy is Different." Social Philosophy and Policy 17, no. 1 (Winter 2000): 161-180.

Hayek, Friedrich A. Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 3: The Political Order of a Free People. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. Democracy: The God that Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2001.

Pincione, Guido and Fernando Tesón. Rational Choice and Democratic Deliberation. A Theory of Discourse Failure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Schumpeter, Joseph A. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy [3rd edition]. New York City: Harper Perennial Modern Thought, 2008.

von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Erik. Liberty or Equality: The Challenge of our Time. Caldwell: Caxton Printers, 1952.

Wittman, Donald. The Myth of Democratic Failure: Why Political Institutions Are Efficient. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.