Political Theory

Liberty, Equality, and Meritocracy


The intention of this colloquium was to discuss modern meritocracy and its implications for political and economic life. Conferees examined the explanation for the growth of inequality in advanced market societies and whether meritocracy is compatible with democracy, or whether inequality itself—or the bureaucracy established to enforce equal opportunity—undermines constitutional democracy and the liberty it is thought to ensure.


From Liberty Fund

The Federalist

by By Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison
Edited by George W. Carey and James McClellan

The Federalist, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, constitutes a text central to the American political tradition. Written and published in newspapers in 1787 and 1788 to explain and promote ratification of the proposed Constitution for the United States, which were then bound by the Articles of Confederation,…

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Additional Readings

Clark, Gregory. The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014.

Cowen, Tyler. Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation. New York: Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group, Inc., 2013.

Hayek, F. A. The Constitution of Liberty. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.

Murray, Charles. Coming Apart: The State of White America. New York: Crown Forum, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., 2012.

Piketty, Thomas. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014.

Stiglitz, Joseph E. The Price of Inequality. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 2013.

Young, Michael. The Rise of the Meritocracy. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers (originally published in 1958), 2008.