Doing Liberal Political Economy: James M. Buchanan as Exemplar

James M. Buchanan: A Theorist of Political Economy and Social Philosophy, ed. Richard E. Wagner, Forthcoming

27 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2018

See all articles by Glenn Furton

Glenn Furton

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics; Texas Tech University

Alexander William Salter

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: April 10, 2018

Abstract

We argue James M. Buchanan’s scholarship provides us an exemplary model for doing liberal political economy. Levy (2014) argues there are irreconcilable tensions within liberalism between rationalism and pluralism. Buchanan navigates these tensions in a way that powered one of the most important research programs in 20th century social science. Buchanan’s political economy contains both rationalist and pluralist elements, and it is this synthesis-without-solution that makes his political economy contributions perpetually relevant. We document Buchanan’s affinities for rationalism and pluralism, show how they informed specific portions of his research agenda, and describe how this agenda is being carried forward today.

Keywords: Constitutional political economy, James M. Buchanan, liberalism, pluralism, public choice, rationalism

JEL Classification: A11, B31, H11, P16

Suggested Citation

Furton, Glenn and Salter, Alexander William, Doing Liberal Political Economy: James M. Buchanan as Exemplar (April 10, 2018). James M. Buchanan: A Theorist of Political Economy and Social Philosophy, ed. Richard E. Wagner, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3160125

Glenn Furton (Contact Author)

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

Box 42132
Lubbock, TX 79409-2132
United States

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

Alexander William Salter

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

HOME PAGE: http://awsalter.com

American Institute for Economic Research

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

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