Constitutional Studies

A Constitutional Studies Reading List

Prepared by Roger Pilon and Ilya Shapiro

Read This First

On the Principles of Constitutional Government

On the History of Limited Government in America

On the Philosophical Foundations of Limited Government

  • Two Treatises of Government by John Locke (Peter Laslett, ed., Cambridge University Press, 1960)
    This discussion of rights, property, and the social contract remains the theoretical inspiration for the American experiment.
  • Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick (Basic Books, 1974)
    A sophisticated defense of the libertarian vision, a devastating critique of statism, and a subtle exploration of the foundations of legitimacy.
  • Reason and Morality by Alan Gewirth (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1978)
    A sophisticated refutation of moral skepticism and robust development of the theory of rights

On Specific Issues of Constitutional Interpretation