Political Theory

Liberty in the Thought of Benjamin Constant


The conference, timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Constant’s famous "The Liberty of the Ancients Compared to That of the Moderns" speech, explored the key elements of Constant's thinking about political, economic, religious, and personal liberty through reading his major works.


From Liberty Fund

Commentary on Filangieri’s Work

by By Benjamin Constant
Edited and Translated by Alan S. Kahan

Commentary on Filangieri’s Work addresses the principal political and social questions that Benjamin Constant, one of the most important liberal thinkers of the nineteenth century, ever discussed. This translation will help give the work its deserved importance in political theory.

Commentary is founded on the view that government should maintain…

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Additional Readings

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

Constant, Benjamin, “The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with that of the Moderns.” In Modern Political Thought, edited by David Wootton, 558-569. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2008.

Constant, Benjamin. On Religion. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2018.

Constant, Benjamin. The Spirit of Conquest and Usurpation and their Relation to European Civilization, in Political Writings. Edited by Biancamaria Fontana. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Constant, Benjamin. Adolphe. Translated by Leonard Tancock. London: Penguin Classics, 1980.