Liberty Review

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Perfectionism, Reasonableness, and Respect

STEVEN WALL
POLITICAL THEORY 42.4 (2014): 468-489

Abstract: In recent work, Martha Nussbaum has exposed an important ambiguity in the standard conception of political liberalism. The ambiguity centers on the notion of “reasonableness” as it applies to comprehensive doctrines and to persons. As Nussbaum observes, the notion of reasonableness in political liberalism can be construed in a purely ethical sense or in a sense that combines ethical and epistemic elements. The ambiguity bears crucially on the respect for persons norm—a key norm that helps to distinguish political from perfectionist versions of liberalism. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Philosophy, Political Theory

How Many American Loyalists Left the United States?

PHILLIP RANLET
THE HISTORIAN 76.2 (2014): 278-307

In this interesting piece, the author evaluates one of the most notoriously difficult aspects of early American history: estimating the number of loyalists who left America during and after the conclusion of the American Revolution. Specifically, he challenges the recent estimates of the size of the loyalist exodus made by Maya Jasanoff, in her Liberty’s Exiles (2011). Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: History

Money without a State: Currencies of the Orthodox Christians in the Balkan Provinces of the Ottoman Empire (17th –19th centuries)

NIKOLAY NENOVSKY, PENCHO PENCHEV
THE REVIEW OF AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS (2014): ADVANCED ONLINE PUBLICATION. DOI 10.1007/s11138-014-0281-9

Abstract: The paper presents a historical and theoretical analysis of the issue of local currency (coins and paper money), undertaken in various forms by the Orthodox Christians in the Balkan provinces of the Ottoman Empire (XVII –XIX centuries). Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, History

From Custom to Law – Hayek Revisited

GUIDO ROSSI, SALVATORE SPAGANO
MPRA PAPER No. 56643 (2014)

Abstract: The present paper combines legal history with economic theory so to explain the passage from custom to law. Economists have usually explained the shift from customary to statutory law (that is, from spontaneous to formal rules) either in terms contractualism or evolutionism. In the first case, law is the only efficient solution for a Hobbesian-like immanent social conflict. In the second case, customs do create an efficient enough equilibrium. Law comes on a later stage just to formalise an already accepted rule, vesting the custom with a formal status. Neither theory, however, is fully able to explain the transition from custom to law. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, Law

Buchanan and Tullock Ignore Their Own Contributions to Expressive Voting

DWIGHT R. LEE, J. R. CLARK
PUBLIC CHOICE 161.1-2 (2014): 113-118

Abstract: It is common to employ small-number voting models to show how majority voting can lead to outcomes that are often at variance to what most people expect. For example, when government projects are voted on separately, and logrolling and side payment agreements are ruled out, each project can capture a majority vote even though all voters would be better off if none of the projects passed. The outcomes are typically driven by the assumption that the decision of each voter is influenced entirely by effect of their vote on their personal financial interests. But this is misleading Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, Politics

Do Poverty Traps Exist? Assessing the Evidence

AART KRAAY, DAVID MCKENZIE
THE JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 28.3 (2014): 127-148

Abstract: A “poverty trap” can be understood as a set of self-reinforcing mechanisms whereby countries start poor and remain poor: poverty begets poverty, so that current poverty is itself a direct cause of poverty in the future. The idea of a poverty trap has this striking implication for policy: much poverty is needless, in the sense that a different equilibrium is possible and one-time policy efforts to break the poverty trap may have lasting effects. But what does the modern evidence suggest about the extent to which poverty traps exist in practice and the underlying mechanisms that may be involved? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics

Summaries Archive

Recent Posts: Liberty Review Books

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy. Francis Fukuyama. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2014

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, David Gress called Francis Fukuyama’s Origins of Political Order “magisterial in its learning and admirably immodest in its ambition.” In The New York Times Book Review, Michael Lind described the book as “a major … Continue reading

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Libertad y Orden en la Filosofía Política Kantiana. Acerca de los Límites del Uso Público de la Razón en El Conflicto de las Facultades

ILEANA BEADE ISEGORÍA. REVISTA DE FILOSOFÍA MORAL Y POLÍTICA 50 (2014): 371-392 En este trabajo proponemos examinar una doble exigencia formulada por Kant en El Conflicto de las Facultades –a saber, la exigencia de libertad y la exigencia del orden–, … Continue reading

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