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Morality, Political Economy and American Constitutionalism

Timothy P. Roth, A.B. Templeton Professor and Chairman, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Texas, El Paso, US
The Founders of the American Republic set up a remarkable experiment in self-government. Today, debates rage as to the philosophical legacy of this ongoing experiment. In this fascinating study, Timothy Roth offers a critical analysis of modern liberalism and the economic theory to which it is conjoined – social welfare theory.
Extent: 208 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978 1 84542 524 1
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Political Economy
  • Public Choice Theory
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Political Economy
  • Public Choice
The Founders of the American Republic set up a remarkable experiment in self-government. Today, debates rage as to the philosophical legacy of this ongoing experiment. In this fascinating study, Timothy Roth offers a critical analysis of modern liberalism and the economic theory to which it is conjoined – social welfare theory.

The author argues that social welfare theory cannot be reconciled with the American Founders’ procedurally based, consequence-detached republican self-government project. The book goes on to explore and expound the Founders’ desire to promote respect for the moral law, their appreciation of the reciprocal relationship between morality and law, and their commitment to the promotion of justice in the sense of impartial institutions; ideas which find expression in contractarian, constitutional political economy.

Scholars and students in economics, political science, law and philosophy will find this marvelous treatise an engaging and thought-provoking read.
‘An emphatic, well-documented and currently relevant restatement of the Founders’ vision of the self-governing American Republic, a vision that remains broadly recognizable, even if far from either historical or observed reality. This book should be required reading for any aspirant to public office, whether executive, legislative, or judicial.’
– James M. Buchanan, Nobel Laureate, George Mason University and Virginia Polytechnic and State University, US

‘Roth has written a powerful, persuasive, and disturbing book that deserves a wide audience.’
– Forrest McDonald, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, US
Contents: Preface 1. The Founders’ ‘Republican Cause’ 2. The Commercial Republic 3. Autonomy Ascendant 4. The Public Philosophy of Modern America 5. The Economic Analogue 6. A Failed Public Philosophy 7. The Decline of Political Economy 8. ‘Auxiliary Precautions’ in Our Time References Index