Keith Jakee, HOPE Center Visiting Scholar and Florida Atlantic University, "Anticipating 'The Limits of Liberty': Social (Dis)Order in James Buchanan’s Analysis of Academia"

Event Type: 
Friday, October 22, 2021
12:00 PM
113 Social Sciences

This paper examines James Buchanan’s intellectual development between The Calculus of Consent (1962) and The Limits of Liberty (1975), focusing specifically upon several of his lesser-known works on higher education in the 1960s. We trace several key concepts Buchanan would come to fully develop and analyze in Limits. For example, we show that Academia in Anarchy (with Devletoglou) and “The ‘Social’ Efficiency of Education” (1970) cast informal social norms in a central role in the maintenance of social order and that these ideas anticipated the notion of “ordered anarchy” that would be later expressed in Limits. We also demonstrate that Buchanan explored a version of law-as-public capital in Academia before he expanded on the concept in Limits. And finally, we show that Buchanan had a concern for the inheritors of constitutions in “Student Revolts, Academic Liberalism, and Constitutional Attitudes” (1968a) akin to his concern over the “second generation” problem in Limits. We thus conclude that Buchanan’s lesser-known work on education served a pivotal role in exploring and developing the constitutional thinking he later expressed in considerably more nuanced form in Limits.