The Limits of Liberalism: Good Boundaries Must Be Discovered

11 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2016

See all articles by Adam G. Martin

Adam G. Martin

Texas Tech University - Free Market Institute

Date Written: July 20, 2016

Abstract

Every set of rules comes with a jurisdiction, or domain of activity to which it applies. Good jurisdictional boundaries cannot be decided on through abstract models or philosophical speculation, but must be discovered empirically. Good boundaries vary according to background social and technological conditions as well as the sort of interaction that the jurisdiction is meant to govern. Since these conditions are liable to change through time, successful boundary drawing will depend upon a method for discovering better boundaries and correcting errors. Classical liberals have traditionally emphasizes either ex ante consent or ex post exit as methods for determining what counts as a good boundary. I argue that ex post exit has been relatively neglected and has potential to address some of the shortcomings of ex ante consent as a standard for evaluating boundaries. Written for the Mont Pelerin Society Essay Contest.

Suggested Citation

Martin, Adam G., The Limits of Liberalism: Good Boundaries Must Be Discovered (July 20, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2812146 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2812146

Adam G. Martin (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University - Free Market Institute ( email )

Box 45059
Lubbock, TX 79409-5059
United States

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