Classical Liberalism in the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of Norman Barry

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Liberty has underpinned the Judeo-Christian ideal for millennia, and it was the idea of liberty that molded Europe. Britain, too, was forged by liberty, and British leadership in commerce and politics flowed out of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 which established the Bill of Rights and the rule of law. But liberty is constantly under threat from governments and their apologists who seek to over-tax and over-regulate. Norman P. Barry played a significant part in the revival of classical liberal ideas in Britain since the 1970s. A political theorist by training, he was well-equipped to explore and expound the origins of the classical liberal tradition in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as the philosophical foundations of the modern classical liberal agenda of limited government, the rule of law and free markets. His earlier publications include Hayek s Social and Economic Philosophy, On Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism and The New Right. In the later years his focus on applying classical liberal principles to a range of public policy issues resulted in a number of publications including Welfare and Business Ethics. As a political theorist engaging with economics, he was an effective expositor of the Austrian School of economics and of the public choice analysis of government. Norman Barry was a lucid and engaging writer and teacher who used his talent for wit and irony to good effect in communicating often difficult or dry ideas to a wide and appreciative audience. In March 2009 a symposium was held in honor of Norman P. Barry at the University of Buckingham, where he had been Professor of Social and Political Theory since 1984. Originally planned for his retirement, the symposium became a fitting commemoration for him following his death in October 2008. Most of the contributions to this collection are based on the papers read at the symposium, by distinguished authors from Britain, the United States and beyond. Some of them review and assess Norman Barry s achievement as a scholar and a teacher. Several are devoted to topics to which Norman Barry made major contributions, such as business ethics and the modern relevance of Hayek s road to serfdom thesis. Others deal with topics such as environmental protection and social capital, which present equal challenges to the future relevance and vitality of the classical liberal tradition. The contributors to this volume comprise Norman Barry, Stephen Davies, Mustafa Erdogan, David Henderson, Terence Kealey, Julian Morris, Alan Peacock, Mark Pennington, Martin Ricketts, Colin Robinson, Charles Rowley, Nathanael Smith, and Elaine Sternberg. It includes Norman Barry's last unpublished piece: Dworkin's Unbounded Legalism.