Situating Southern Influences in James M. Buchanan and Modern Public Choice Economics
19 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 25, 2017
Was 1986 Nobel Laureate James Buchanan an intellectual heir of South Carolina slavery apologist and political thinker John C. Calhoun? Further, was Buchanan’s worldview shaped by segregationist Nashville Agrarian poet Donald Davidson? These are claims made by historian Nancy MacLean in her 2017 Democracy in Chains; however, documentary evidence from Buchanan’s Collected Works and other sources suggests that Calhoun and Davidson were not among his influences and that, therefore, MacLean’s attempt to locate Buchanan within the segregationist tradition in Southern political thinking is not supported by the historical record.
Keywords: James M. Buchanan, Democracy, John C. Calhoun
JEL Classification: B2, B31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation