Robust Political Economy: Classical Liberalism and the Future of Public Policy
(Edward Elgar, 2011)
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This new book offers a comprehensive defense of classical liberalism against contemporary challenges. It sets out an analytical framework of “robust political economy” that explores the economic and political problems that arise from the fact of imperfect knowledge and imperfect incentives. Using this framework, the book defends the classical liberal focus on markets and the minimal state from the critiques presented by “market failure” economics and communitarian and egalitarian variants of political theory. Mark Pennington applies the lessons learned from responding to these challenges in the context of contemporary discussions surrounding the welfare state, international development, and environmental protection. Thinkers addressed include Joseph Stiglitz, Jurgen Habermas, Karl Polanyi, John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin. Uniquely, the book explores the lessons learned from responding to these critics in the context of contemporary discussions surrounding the welfare state, international development, and environmental protection. The book has been described by Professor Bruce Caldwell, general editor of The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek, as “almost custom‐made for those who want to defend classical liberalism against the common arguments.”