The Constitution of Liberty: The Definitive Edition

The Constitution of Liberty: The Definitive Edition

by F. A. Hayek, Ronald Hamowy
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University of Chicago Press
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The Constitution of Liberty: The Definitive Edition

From the $700 billion bailout of the banking industry to president Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package to the highly controversial passage of federal health-care reform, conservatives and concerned citizens alike have grown increasingly fearful of big government. Enter Nobel Prize–winning economist and political theorist F. A. Hayek, whose passionate warning against empowering states with greater economic control, The Road to Serfdom, became an overnight sensation last summer when it was endorsed by Glenn Beck. The book has since sold over 150,000 copies.

The latest entry in the University of Chicago Press’s series of newly edited editions of Hayek’s works, The Constitution of Liberty is, like Serfdom, just as relevant to our present moment. The book is considered Hayek’s classic statement on the ideals of freedom and liberty, ideals that he believes have guided—and must continue to guide—the growth of Western civilization. Here Hayek defends the principles of a free society, casting a skeptical eye on the growth of the welfare state and examining the challenges to freedom posed by an ever expanding government—as well as its corrosive effect on the creation, preservation, and utilization of knowledge. In opposition to those who call for the state to play a greater role in society, Hayek puts forward a nuanced argument for prudence. Guided by this quality, he elegantly demonstrates that a free market system in a democratic polity—under the rule of law and with strong constitutional protections of individual rights—represents the best chance for the continuing existence of liberty.


Striking a balance between skepticism and hope, Hayek’s profound insights are timelier and more welcome than ever before. This definitive edition of The Constitution of Liberty will give a new generation the opportunity to learn from his enduring wisdom.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226315393
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 04/01/2011
Series: Collected Works of F. A. Hayek Series , #17
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 688
Sales rank: 190,408
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Editorial Foreword

Introductory Essay

The Constitution of Liberty: Editions and Translations

A Note on the Notes

Editor’s Acknowledgments

Liberty Fund Editions Cited




Bibliographical Abbreviations



PART I.           The Value of Freedom

One                  Liberty and Liberties

Two                 The Creative Powers of a Free Civilization

Three               The Common Sense of Progress

Four                 Freedom, Reason, and Tradition

Five                  Responsibility and Freedom

Six                    Equality, Value, and Merit

Seven               Majority Rule

Eight                 Employment and Independence


PART II.           Freedom and the Law

Nine                 Coercion and the State

Ten                   Law, Commands, and Order

Eleven              The Origins of the Rule of Law

Twelve             The American Contribution: Constitutionalism

Thirteen            Liberalism and Administration: The Rechtsstaat

Fourteen           The Safeguards of Individual Liberty

Fifteen              Economic Policy and the Rule of Law

Sixteen             The Decline of the Law


PART III.         Freedom in the Welfare State

Seventeen        The Decline of Socialism and the Rise of the Welfare State

Eighteen           Labor Unions and Employment

Nineteen          Social Security

Twenty            Taxation and Redistribution

Twenty-one     The Monetary Framework

Twenty-two     Housing and Town Planning

Twenty-three   Agriculture and Natural Resources

Twenty-four     Education and Research


Postscript: Why I Am Not a Conservative

Analytical Table of Contents

Index of Authors Cited

Index of Subjects

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The Constitution of Liberty 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Economist and political philosopher Friedrich A. Hayek wrote The Constitution of Liberty for publication in 1960, but his timeless insights still have currency. His reasoned advocacy of economic freedom and personal liberty applies to modern debates on controversial subjects ranging from price inflation and progressive taxation to public education. The book contrasts the benefits of limited government with the costs of central economic planning. Restricting government is more likely to produce the individual spontaneity and creativity that is vital to the advance of knowledge and civilization. Hayek demonstrates how liberty takes sustenance from the rule of law, the concept of due process and the constitutional form of government. He identifies serious but subtle threats to individual freedom. For example, he criticizes Social Security and progressive taxation as regrettable forms of income redistribution. getAbstract recommends this scholarly tome to readers seeking a detailed philosophical foundation for limited government and to anyone who wants to be familiar with the classic canon of modern economic thought.
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