Liberty Review

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Against Elections: The Lottocratic Alternative

PHILOSOPHY & PUBLIC AFFAIRS 42.2 (2014): 137-178

It is widely accepted that electoral representative democracy is better—along a number of different normative dimensions—than any other alternative lawmaking political arrangement. It is not typically seen as much of a competition: it is also widely accepted that the only legitimate alternative to electoral representative democracy is some form of direct democracy, but direct democracy—we are told—would lead to bad policy. This article makes the case that there is a legitimate alternative system—one that uses lotteries, not elections, to select political officials— that would be better than electoral representative democracy.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Philosophy, Political Theory, Politics

Moral Status and the Wrongness of Paternalism

SOCIAL THEORY AND PRACTICE 40.3 (2014): 483-498

According to the dominant view among liberal philosophers, paternalism is wrong when it interferes with a person’s autonomy. Jonathan Quong has recently rejected this view in favor of a moral status-based account. Birks argues that we should reject Quong account. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Philosophy

Constitutional Rights and Education: An International Comparative Study


Abstract: We investigate whether the inclusion of social rights in political constitutions affects social performance. More specifically, we analyze whether including the right to education in the constitution has been related to better “educational outcomes.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Education, Law

Aristotelian Virtue Ethics and Modern Liberal Democracy


Almost all proponents of virtue ethics tend to recognize the source of their approach in Aristotle, but relatively few of them confront the problem that source poses. How virtuous ethics ought to be related to politics in modern nation-states?  In liberal democracies, political authorities are not supposed to dictate or legislate the good of individuals; they are supposed merely to establish the conditions necessary for individuals to choose their own life paths. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Philosophy, Political Theory

Observing the Capitalist Peace: Examining Market-Mediated Signaling and Other Mechanisms

JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH 51.5 (2014): 619-633

Abstract: Countries with open capital markets tend to have fewer militarized disputes and wars. Gartzke, Li & Boehmer propose that this association arises from the enhanced ability of states with open capital markets to credibly signal resolve through the bearing of economic costs ex ante to militarized escalation. We test this causal mechanism by qualitatively examining six crucial cases in which the mechanism is most likely to be operative and observable. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, Politics

On the Intellectual Foundations of Hayek’s and Schumpeter’s Economics: An Appraisal


Abstract: Several contributions have been devoted to a comparison between the works of Joseph Schumpeter and Friedrich Hayek, both of them rooted in the Austrian tradition but they generally concerned specific aspects of their respective global contributions as, for instance, monetary theory, business cycles economic evolution or price theory. 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 achievement by one of the leading public intellectuals of our time.” And in The Washington […]

Mixed Fortunes: An Economic History of China, Russia, and the West. Vladimir Popov. Oxford University Press. 2014

The rise of the West is often attributed the presence of certain features in Western countries from the 16th century that were absent in more traditional societies: the abolition of serfdom and Protestant ethics, the protection of property rights, and free universities. The problem with this reasoning is that, before the 16th century, there were […]

Distant Strangers: How Britain Became Modern. James Vernon. University of California Press. 2014

What does it mean to live in the modern world? How different is that world from those that preceded it, and when did we become modern? In Distant Strangers, James Vernon argues that the world was made modern not by revolution, industrialization, or the Enlightenment.

Recent Posts: Liberty Review América Latina

Sentimiento Moral y Razón: La Noción de Justicia en Adam Smith y Amartya Sen

AUGUSTO ALEÁN PICO CUADERNOS DE ECONOMÍA 33.63 (2014): 359-379 Amartya Sen plantea que su noción de justicia tiene como antecedente el pensamiento de Adam Smith. Sen usa de una manera particular los conceptos de la simpatía y del espectador imparcial para elaborar su noción de justicia. Más allá de la afirmación de Sen, estamos interesados […]

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