The Routledge Companion to Libertarianism  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Libertarianism

ISBN 9780367410124
Published May 6, 2022 by Routledge
658 Pages

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Book Description

Have you ever wondered what libertarians think about vaccine mandates? About gun control? About racial and sexual inequalities? While libertarianism is well known as a political theory relating to the scope and justification of state authority, the breadth and depth of libertarian work on a wide range of other topics in social and political philosophy is less well known. This handbook is the first definitive reference on libertarianism that offers an in-depth survey of the central ideas from across philosophy, politics, and economics, including applications to contemporary policy issues.

The forty chapters in this work provide an encyclopedic overview of libertarian scholarship, from foundational debates about natural rights theories vs. utilitarian approaches, to policy debates over immigration, punishment and policing, and intellectual property. Each chapter presents a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of historical and contemporary libertarian thought on its subject, and thus serves as an essential guide to current scholarship, and a starting place for discovering future lines of research. The book also contains a section on criticisms of libertarianism, written by leading scholars from the feminist, republican, socialist, and conservative perspectives, as well as a section on how libertarian political theory relates to various schools of economic thought, such as the Chicago, Austrian, Bloomington, and Public Choice schools.

This book is an essential and comprehensive guide for anyone interested in libertarianism, whether sympathizer or critic.

Table of Contents

Introduction   Foundations   1.   Natural Rights   2.   Freedom   3.   Welfare   4.   Contractarianism   5.   Virtue Ethics   6.   Objectivism   Key Concepts   7.   Self-Ownership   8.   Property Rights   9.   Liberty   10.  Force and Coercion   11.  Political Legitimacy and Authority   Institutional Regimes   12.  Anarchism   13.  Minimal Statism   14.  Classical Liberalism   15.  Left Libertarianism   Social Issues   16.  Race   17.  Sexual Ethics   18.  Sex and Gender   19.  Class   Domestic Policy Issues   20.  The Welfare State   21.  Guns and Self-Defense   22.  Children and the Family   23.  Public Health and Healthcare Policy   24.  Policing and Punishment   25.  Taxation   Global Policy Issues   26.  Colonialism and Territorial Rights   27.  Immigration   28.  Rectification and Historic Injustice   29.  War and Humanitarian Intervention   30.  Environmental Issues   31.  Intellectual Property   Libertarianism and Economic Thought   32.  Libertarianism and the Chicago School of Economics   33.  Libertarianism and the Austrian School of Economics   34.  Libertarianism and Public Choice   35.  Libertarianism and the Bloomington School   Critiques of Libertarianism   36.  Feminist Critiques   37.  Liberal Egalitarian Critiques   38.  Conservative Critiques   39.  Marxist Critiques   40.  Republican Critiques

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Matt Zwolinski is Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Diego, USA, and Director of USD’s Center for Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy.

Benjamin Ferguson is an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick, UK, and Director of their program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.


"This is a terrific collection of essays by leading thinkers. It covers just about every major topic in libertarian thought, plus some leading critiques. It should make an essential reference for anyone studying political philosophy."

- Michael Huemer, Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado Boulder

"Libertarians are famously argumentative. This book introduces readers to everything that libertarians are arguing about – with conventional wisdom, critics, and each other. It’s an encyclopedic treatment of libertarian – and anti-libertarian – thought. If you love the free play of ideas, this is the book for you."

- Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics, George Mason University