The Balance of Freedom: Political Economy, Law and Learning

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Can individual freedom and the social good be reconciled? Do liberal democracies require economic preconditions to function? Can liberal democracies escape a slow drift from individual freedom and control over private property to a large welfare state that regulates and taxes all ownership and activities? To what extent do laws intended to protect people from the arbitrary actions of government themselves lead to coercion and limit freedom? Do liberal universities produce men and women that sustain democracy or ...
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Overview

Can individual freedom and the social good be reconciled? Do liberal democracies require economic preconditions to function? Can liberal democracies escape a slow drift from individual freedom and control over private property to a large welfare state that regulates and taxes all ownership and activities? To what extent do laws intended to protect people from the arbitrary actions of government themselves lead to coercion and limit freedom? Do liberal universities produce men and women that sustain democracy or undermine it? Is there a moral vacuity in liberal democracy that will undermine its vitality? These questions and others like them refer to the fragile balance between conflicting principles that are demanded of modern government. Professor Michener has organized a discussion by American and European scholars of how the demands of freedom, on the one hand, and social obligation, on the other, are balanced by the primary institutions which maintain liberal democratic societies: the economy, the rule of law, and education. Their penetrating insights illuminate the debates which prevail in modern society. The centerpiece of this book is a broad treatise by Edward Shils on the development of the modern university and its role in the creation and support of liberal democracies. Universities, while expected to educate men and women of the character democracy requires, have often been plagued by incivility. Judge Robert Bork concludes with a view toward the prospects for democracy, noting that fractious pluralism and a cultural civil war are products of a liberalism emptied of meaning and moral purpose at its core.

Does the administration play a significant role in preserving, fostering, and maintaining freedom, or does it endanger the liberal social order and individual freedom? In this collection of essays, renowned political philosophers, legal scholars, and social scientists analyze the complicated and often contradictory character of the modern administrative state.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Series Editors' Foreword
Introductory Note
Ch. 1 Voting Rights and Redistribution: Implications for Liberal, Democratic Governments 1
Ch. 2 The Bitter Medicine of Freedom 31
Ch. 3 Equality and the Rule of Law 61
Ch. 4 The Rule of Law in a Theoretical and Comparative Perspective 81
Ch. 5 The Idea and Practice of Liberal Democracy and the Modern University, with some Comments on the Modern Private University 107
Ch. 6 Liberal Education as a Prerequisite for Liberal Democracies 183
Ch. 7 Scientific Man: Curse or Blessing for Liberal Democracy? 199
Afterword: Politics and Culture 211
Notes on Contributors 223
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