Liberty Review

A Project of Liberty Fund

Summer 2014 Issue Now Available

Print issues include a selection of our blog entries from the past six months, the last three lead essays from Liberty Matters, and a list of books of note for the year. Summaries are organized in four broad categories: 1) History of Political and Social Thought; 2) Law and Political Philosophy; 3) Economics and Politics; and 4) History, Literature, and Society.

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Filed under: Arts & Literature, Economics, Education, History, Law, Philosophy, Political Theory, Politics, Religion, Society

Addressing Global Environmental Externalities: Transaction Costs Considerations


Abstract: Is there a way to understand why some global environmental externalities are addressed effectively, whereas others are not? The transaction costs of defining the property rights to mitigation benefits and costs is a useful framework for such analysis. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, Politics

Constitutional Self-Government and Nationalism: Hobbes, Locke and George Lawson


Abstract: The emphasis in contemporary democratic theory and in the history of political thought on the peculiarly abstract theory of popular sovereignty of Locke and his twentieth-century intellectual descendants obscures a crucial relationship between constitutional self-government and nationalism. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Political Theory

Arbitrary Government: Tristram Shandy and the Crisis of Whig History

ENGLISH LITERARY HISTORY 81.2 (2014): 585-613

Abstract: Although David Hume asserted that Tristram Shandy had escaped the turbulence that overwhelmed the early reign of George III by way of a distinctly “Shandean” obliviousness, Sterne’s novel cannot be so straightforwardly extricated from the growing political upheaval. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Arts & Literature

Christian Hajjis-The Other Orthodox Pilgrims to Jerusalem

SLAVIC REVIEW 73.2 (2014): 322-346

In this article, the author identifies the Christian “hajj” to Jerusalem as an important Ottoman sociocultural phenomenon. She argues that by the nineteenth century the Balkan Eastern Orthodox communities in the Ottoman empire had restructured and reinterpreted their Holy Land pilgrimages to mirror the Muslim hajj to Mecca. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: History, Religion

The Psychological Dangers of Positive Liberty: Reconstructing a Neglected Undercurrent in Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts of Liberty”

THE REVIEW OF POLITICS 76.2 (2014): 267-291

Abstract: Berlin is often taken to have exaggerated his case against positive liberty, since contrary to what he seems to argue, several versions of it do not logically justify coercion. A more historical interpretation of his warnings may save him from this accusation, yet on the other hand suggests his message is of little relevance for contemporary liberalism. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Philosophy, Political Theory

Summaries Archive

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How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness. Russ Roberts. Portfolio Hardcover. 2014

Adam Smith became famous for The Wealth of Nations, but the Scottish economist also cared deeply about our moral choices and behavior—the subjects of his other brilliant book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). Now, economist Russ Roberts shows why … Continue reading

The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System. David Skarbek. Oxford University Press. 2014

When most people think of prison gangs, they think of chaotic bands of violent, racist thugs. Few people think of gangs as sophisticated organizations (often with elaborate written constitutions) that regulate the prison black market, adjudicate conflicts, and strategically balance … Continue reading

This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible. Charles E. Cobb Jr. Basic Books. 2014

Visiting Martin Luther King Jr. at the peak of the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, journalist William Worthy almost sat on a loaded pistol. “Just for self defense,” King assured him. It was not the only weapon King kept for such … Continue reading

Recent Posts: Liberty Review América Latina

The Distributive Politics of Enforcement

ALISHA C. HOLLAND AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE (MAY 2014) DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12125 Abstract: Why do some politicians tolerate the violation of the law? In contexts where the poor are the primary violators of property laws, I argue that the answer lies in … Continue reading

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