Choice, Contract, Consent, in restating liberalism, finds its rock-bottom foundations in six first principles that are either self-evident, or readily acceptable to bona fide reason. These simple, relatively undemanding principles dictate the outline of a stable political doctrine. The doctrine is strict, in that it confines the state to mandatory tasks, instead of allowing it discretionary latitude within rules. This is a loose constraint because collective choice can choose its own rules. Political doctrine informs practical politics. In politics, collective choice replace and often overrides individual choice. For this to be legitimate, it does not suffice to respect procedures, such as those demanded by democracy. Collective choice to be morally justified, needs substantive legitimacy too. Choice, Contract, Consent develops the conditions that substantive legitimacy must meet and delineates the restricted class of cases where a liberal government may pre empt the voluntary choices of its citizens.
The growth of national economic regulation and the process of globalisation increasingly expose international transactions to an array of regulations from different jurisdictions. These developments often contribute to widespread international contractual failures when parties claim the incompatibility of their contractual obligations with regulatory laws. The author challenges conventional means of dispute resolution and argues for an interdisciplinary approach whereby disciplines such as international economic law, conflict of laws, contract law and economic regulations are functionally united to resolve international and multifaceted regulatory disputes. He identifies the normative foundation of contract law as an important determinant in this process, contending that contract law is essentially neutral and underpinned by the concept of corrective justice, while economic regulations are mainly prompted by distributive justice. Applying this corrective/distributive justice dichotomy to international contracts, the author critically assesses major conflict of laws approaches such as `proper law', `the Rome Convention' and `governmental interest analysis', which could disregard either public interest or private rights. The author, taking these theories into account, proposes an alternative two-dimensional interest analysis approach. He tests the viability of this approach with reference to arbitral awards and court decisions in various jurisdictions and concludes that it uniquely fits into the structure of international commercial arbitration. In adopting this approach arbitrators would take into account both corrective and distributive justice, and to the extent that corrective justice prevails, would be able to avert a total failure of the contract.
Sir Samuel Brittan, the doyen of British economic journalists, explores the connections between economics, ethics, and politics while assessing the merits and defects of capitalism in this post-socialist era.
Why have neo-liberal economic ideas been so resilient since the 1980s, despite major intellectual challenges, crippling financial and political crises, and failure to deliver on their promises? Why do they repeatedly return, not only to survive but to thrive? This groundbreaking book proposes five lines of analysis to explain the dynamics of both continuity and change in neo-liberal ideas: the flexibility of neo-liberalism's core principles; the gaps between neo-liberal rhetoric and reality; the strength of neo-liberal discourse in debates; the power of interests in the strategic use of ideas; and the force of institutions in the embedding of neo-liberal ideas. The book's highly distinguished group of authors shows how these possible explanations apply across the most important domains - fiscal policy, the role of the state, welfare and labour markets, regulation of competition and financial markets, management of the Euro, and corporate governance - in the European Union and across European countries.
This book makes an innovative link between classical liberalism and questions of international economic order. The author begins with an outline of classical liberalism as applied to domestic economic order. He then surveys the classical liberal tradition from the Scottish Enlightenment to modern thinkers like Knight, Hayekn and Viner. Finally, he brings together the insights of thinkers in this tradition to provide a synthetic overview of classical liberalism and international economic order. The author's deployment of classical liberalism strikes a different note to other 'liberal' interpretations in economics and political science. In particular, classical liberalism points to the domestic preconditions of international order, and advocates unilateral liberalisation in the context of an institutional competition between states.
This book challenges us to look at liberal political ideas in a fresh way. Colin Bird examines the assumption, held both by liberals and by their strongest critics, that the values and ideals of the liberal political tradition cohere around a distinctively 'individualist' conception of the relation between individuals, society and the state. He concludes that the formula of 'liberal individualism' conceals fundamental conflicts between liberal views of these relations, conflicts that neither liberals nor their critics have adequately recognized. His interesting and provocative study develops a powerful criticism of the libertarian forms of 'liberal individualism' which have risen to prominence, and suggests that by taking this term for granted, theorists have exaggerated the unity and integrity of liberal political ideals and limited our perception of the issues they raise.
This book charts the development of political thought within the British Liberal Party and its successor, the Liberal Democrats. Beginning with Jo Grimond’s rise to the leadership in 1956, it follows the Liberal resurgence in the second half of the twentieth century through to the major setbacks of the 2015 general election and the 2016 referendum on UK membership of the European Union. Drawing on interviews with leading politicians and political thinkers, the book examines Liberal ideas against the background of key historical events and controversies, including the period of coalition government with the Conservatives.
In this revised edition of a widely used text various issues, such as the role of government, inflation and unemployment, poverty and inequality, and education, culture, and gender, are given a comparative analysis from the perspectives of four major economic ideologies.
John Mills provides a critical survey of the way economics has developed. He argues that the main goal of economics ought to be to show how to achieve a combination of economic growth, full employment, low inflation, avoidance of extreme poverty and sustainability. That it has failed to do so is neither inevitable nor accidental. It has failed because of a combination of intellectual error and the effects of social and political pressure, which Mills claims could and should have been avoided.
In the graveyard of economic ideology, dead ideas still stalk the land. The recent financial crisis laid bare many of the assumptions behind market liberalism--the theory that market-based solutions are always best, regardless of the problem. For decades, their advocates dominated mainstream economics, and their influence created a system where an unthinking faith in markets led many to view speculative investments as fundamentally safe. The crisis seemed to have killed off these ideas, but they still live on in the minds of many--members of the public, commentators, politicians, economists, and even those charged with cleaning up the mess. In Zombie Economics, John Quiggin explains how these dead ideas still walk among us--and why we must find a way to kill them once and for all if we are to avoid an even bigger financial crisis in the future. Zombie Economics takes the reader through the origins, consequences, and implosion of a system of ideas whose time has come and gone. These beliefs--that deregulation had conquered the financial cycle, that markets were always the best judge of value, that policies designed to benefit the rich made everyone better off--brought us to the brink of disaster once before, and their persistent hold on many threatens to do so again. Because these ideas will never die unless there is an alternative, Zombie Economics also looks ahead at what could replace market liberalism, arguing that a simple return to traditional Keynesian economics and the politics of the welfare state will not be enough--either to kill dead ideas, or prevent future crises. In a new chapter, Quiggin brings the book up to date with a discussion of the re-emergence of pre-Keynesian ideas about austerity and balanced budgets as a response to recession.