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Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative

The Normative Vision of Classical Liberalism The late James M. Buchanan, former Distinguished Professor Emeritus, George Mason University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and Advisory General Director, Center for Study of Public Choice, George Mason University, US Recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
Nobel Laureate James Buchanan collects in this volume original and recent hard-to-find essays exploring liberalism and conservatism as distinct ways of looking at and thinking about the realm of human interaction. Classical liberalism is presented here as a coherent political and economic position, as distinguished from both modern liberalism and conservatism.
Extent: 128 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2006
ISBN: 978 1 84542 314 8
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  • eISBN: 978 1 84542 821 1

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  • Economics and Finance
  • Public Choice Theory
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Choice
Nobel Laureate James Buchanan collects in this volume original and recent hard-to-find essays exploring liberalism and conservatism as distinct ways of looking at and thinking about the realm of human interaction. Classical liberalism is presented here as a coherent political and economic position, as distinguished from both modern liberalism and conservatism.

The book comprises chapters which, taken together, assign a central and critical role to individual liberty. The liberalism is classical in its continuation of normative arguments made by the great liberal thinkers of three centuries, including the American Founders and culminating in the recent works of F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman. The author discusses the status quo in the conservative position, normative presuppositions for democracy, and examines what seem to be the conservative assumptions about the nature of human beings. The introductory and concluding chapters, written specifically for this volume, are designed to place both the essays and his own position in the broader perspective of political philosophy.

Students and scholars of economics, political science and philosophy will find this collection a provocative and necessary addition to their library. Liberals and conservatives alike will find the arguments insightful and absorbing.
‘Buchanan’s work is widely read and cited by those working within economics and political economy. This excellent book shows that he also has an important contribution to make to political theory. It is to be hoped that it will go some way towards giving Buchanan’s work the wider circulation it undoubtedly deserves with this field.’
– John Meadowcroft, Economic Affairs

‘. . . terrific read. . . The essays are beautifully argued analyses of the philosophical underpinnings of Classical Liberalism, developing arguments from Adam Smith, Hayek and others. Buchanan is a fine and convincing advocate for Classical Liberalism.’
– Ruth Lea, The Business Economist

‘Buchanan’s final essay. . . is a personal, somewhat brooding, discussion of why he has chosen to write this and other works like it over the years. He articulates a vision that classical liberals everywhere can identify with and provides reason enough to read this book.’
– Robert Lawson, Public Choice

‘Buchanan’s readable, insightful work will be of value to students of political philosophy and economic thought. Highly recommended. All collections.’
– M. Steckbeck, Choice
Contents: Preface 1. Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative 2. Classical Liberalism and the Perfectibility of Man 3. Normative Presuppositions for Democracy 4. Beyond Law: The Institutionalized Ethics of Liberal Order 5. The Equivocal Ethics of Liberalism 6. The Soul of Classical Liberalism 7. Classical Liberalism as an Organizing Ideal 8. The Sense of Community in Hayekian Moral Order 9. The Hayek Difference 10. God, the State and the Market 11. Madison’s Angels 12. The Emergence of a Classical Liberal: A Confessional Exercise Index