The limits of liberalism: Good boundaries must be discovered

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Classical liberals advocate widespread reliance on private property as a method for reducing commons problems, settling conflicts, and incentivizing cooperation. While recognizing that there is wide scope for reciprocal, spontaneous recognition of such boundaries, Buchanan contends that the state is necessary to prevent marginal defections from those accepted limits from unraveling such a tenuous social contract. Whether between individual property owners or club providers of governance problems, any non-monolithic society confronts some irreducible legal commons. Consider the differences between Buchanan’s model of a unanimous social contract and Kukathas’s model of a diverse liberal archipelago. Governance problems are shaped by technological, organizational, and social factors. Technologically, collective goods have different economies of scale. While recognizing that there is wide scope for reciprocal, spontaneous recognition of such boundaries, Buchanan contends that the state is necessary to prevent marginal defections from those accepted limits from unraveling such a tenuous social contract.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEconomic Freedom and Prosperity
Subtitle of host publicationThe Origins and Maintenance of Liberalization
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages48-60
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780429813214
ISBN (Print)9781138335394
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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    Martin, A. (2018). The limits of liberalism: Good boundaries must be discovered. In Economic Freedom and Prosperity: The Origins and Maintenance of Liberalization (pp. 48-60). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429443817