The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism

1st Edition

Edited by Jason Brennan, Bas van der Vossen, David Schmidtz


466 pages

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pub: 2017-08-22
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Libertarians often bill their theory as an alternative to both the traditional Left and Right. The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism helps readers fully examine this alternative without preaching it to them, exploring the contours of libertarian (sometimes also called classical liberal) thinking on justice, institutions, interpersonal ethics, government, and political economy. The 31 chapters--all written specifically for this volume--are organized into five parts. Part I asks, what should libertarianism learn from other theories of justice, and what should defenders of other theories of justice learn from libertarianism? Part II asks, what are some of the deepest problems facing libertarian theories? Part III asks, what is the right way to think about property rights and the market? Part IV asks, how should we think about the state? Finally, part V asks, how well (or badly) can libertarianism deal with some of the major policy challenges of our day, such as immigration, trade, religion in politics, and paternalism in a free market. Among the Handbook's chapters are those from critics who write about what they believe libertarians get right as well as others from leading libertarian theorists who identify what they think libertarians get wrong. As a whole, the Handbook provides a comprehensive, clear-eyed look at what libertarianism has been and could be, and why it matters.


"This is the best contemporary anthology introducing the reader to the basics of libertarianism."

--Tyler Cowen, George Mason University

"What a cornucopia! Handbooks are, of course, designed to be useful, but this one is also great fun as friends and critics insightfully converse across the range of libertarian issues. I shall keep my copy close at hand."

--Loren Lomasky, University of Virginia

"The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism is a distinctive and distinctively valuable contribution to the literature. Those of us who work in political philosophy are indebted to the editors for assembling such an extraordinarily accomplished group of authors to write on the most important and pressing issues within and related to libertarianism."

--Christopher Heath Wellman, Washington University

Table of Contents




Libertarianism in conversation with other theories

  1. Learning from libertarianism: thanks from an unrepentant social democrat
  2. Richard W. Miller

  3. Libertarianism without Locke
  4. Jacob Levy

  5. Hayekian Classical Liberalism
  6. Gerald Gaus

  7. Democracy and equality versus libertarianism and classical liberalism
  8. Richard Arneson

  9. Kant’s Liberalism
  10. Chris W. Suprenant

  11. What’s Wrong with Libertarianism? The Meritocratic Diagnosis
  12. Thomas Mulligan

  13. Liberal Libertarians: Why Libertarianism is a Liberal View
  14. Peter J. Boettke and Rosolino A. Candela

  15. Liberal and Illiberal Libertarianism
  16. Samuel Freeman

    Questioning libertarian principles

  17. Feminism and the Libertarian Self-Ownership Thesis
  18. Ann Cudd

  19. Self-love, justice, and cooperation
  20. Eric Mack

  21. Exception Rights
  22. Nicolás Maloberti

  23. The Sufficiency Proviso: A Case for Moderate Libertarianism
  24. Fabian Wendt

  25. Liberty: A PPE Approach
  26. Jason Brennan

  27. The Myths of the Self-Ownership Thesis
  28. Jason Brennan and Bas van der Vossen

  29. Social Contractarianism
  30. John Thrasher


    The role of property and the market:

  31. What can be for sale?
  32. Peter Martin Jaworski

  33. Property Rights: Natural, Conventional, or Hybrid?
  34. Anna Stilz

  35. Is Wealth Redistribution a Rights Violation?
  36. Michael Huemer

  37. Trade
  38. Fernando Tesón

  39. Non-Libertarian Defenses of Economic Rights as Basic Rights
  40. Queralt


    What is the role of the state?

  41. Ideal Theory
  42. Samuel Freeman

  43. Private Goverance
  44. Edward Peter Stringham

  45. Libertarianism and the Welfare State
  46. Matt Zwolinski

  47. Government failure and market failure
  48. Michael Munger

  49. Freedom and Knowledge
  50. Ilya Somin

    Applied libertarian issues:

  51. The Libertarian Case for Open Borders
  52. Javier Hidalgo

  53. Religion and Politics
  54. Kevin Vallier

  55. A Libertarian Approach to Medicine
  56. Jessica Flanigan

  57. Tolerance
  58. Ryan Muldoon

  59. Paternalism and The Limits of Liberty
  60. Sarah Conly

  61. Free markets and exploitation

Hillel Steiner





About the Editors

Jason Brennan is the Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Chair of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, where he teaches courses in the intersection of politics, philosophy, and economics. He is the author or co-author of seven books, including Against Democracy (2016), Markets without Limits, with Peter Jaworski (2015), and Why Not Capitalism? (2014).

Bas van der Vossen is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Smith Institute of Political Economy and Philosophy, Chapman University. He is the author, together with Fernando Tesón, of Debating Humanitarian Intervention (2017).

David Schmidtz is Kendrick Professor of Philosophy at the College of Social & Behavior Sciences and Eller Chair of Service-Dominant Logic at the College of Management, the University of Arizona. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of 14 book publications.

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