Liberty and the Commerce and Culture of Cities


This colloquium explored the nature of the modern city and how it related to the development of liberty in the present age. In particular, we compared various developments among cities both East and West across Eurasia to evaluate the extent to which they share common commitments to freedom and economic development, and the degree to which they may differ.


Conference Readings

Beito, David, Peter Gordon, and Alexander Tabarrok, eds. The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2005.

McKinsey Global Institute. Urban World: Mapping the Economic Power of Cities. New York: McKinsey and Company, March 2011.

Bell, Daniel and Avner De-Shalit. The Spirit of Cities: Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011.

Bernstein, William J. A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2008.

Gelderblom, Oscar. Cities of Commerce: The Institutional Foundations of International Trade in the Low Countries, 1250-1650. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013.

Glaeser, Edward. Triumph of the City. New York: The Penguin Press, 2011.

Jacobs, Jane. Cities and the Wealth of Nations. New York: Vintage Books, 1985.

Kotkin, Joel. The City: A Global History. New York: Modern Library, 2006.

Olson, Mancur. The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.

Paul Romer. “Romer on Charter Cities.” By Russ Roberts (Podcast Interview). (April 26, 2010).

Quigley, Carroll. The Evolution of Civilizations. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1979.

Reid, Anthony. Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce 1450-1680, Volume Two: Expansion and Crisis. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988-1993.

Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1981.

Spruyt, Hendrik. The Sovereign State and Its Competitors. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.