Political Theory

Liberty and Institutions of Self-Government


The colloquium took as its inspiration the critical question that begins the line of inquiry in The Federalist, “whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force." Taking that theme as the point of departure, the colloquium explored the question in a more general setting and with a distinguished group of international academics, including (but not limited to) those from China, Hong Kong, and countries in Africa.


Conference Readings

Hunt, Gaillard, eds. The Writings of James Madison, New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1900.

Buchanan, James. “The Soul of Classical Liberalism.” The Independent Review V, no. 1 (Summer 2000): 111-119.

Constant, Benjamin. Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments. Edited by Etienne Hofmann. Translated by Dennis O'Keeffe. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2003.

de Jouvenel, Bertrand. On Power. Translated by J. F. Huntington. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1993.

de Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America (1st Perennial Library Edition). Edited by J.P. Mayer. Translated by George Lawrence. New York: Harper Perennial, 1969, 1988.

Havel, Vaclav. Summer Meditations. Translated by Paul Wilson. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.

Hayek, F. A. “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” The American Economic Review 35, no. 4 (September 1945): 519-530.

Hayek, F. A. “Competition as a Discovery Procedure.” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 5, no. 3 (Fall 2002): Page(s): 9-23.

Leoni, Bruno. “Two Views of Liberty, Occidental and Oriental (?).” Il Politico 31, no. 4 (1966): 638-654.

McIlwain, Charles Howard. Constitutionalism: Ancient and Modern. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007.

Ostrom, Elinor. Crafting Institutions for Self-Governing Irrigation Systems. San Francisco: ICS Press, 1992.

Ostrom, Vincent. "The American Contribution to a Theory of Constitutional Choice." Journal of Politics 38, no. 3 (August 1976): 56-78.

Ostrom, Vincent. The Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerability of Democracies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.

Polanyi, Michael. The Logic of Liberty. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1998 (1951).

Stephen, J. Fitzjames. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1993.