POLS 456, 2009-10

Libertarianism has been much in the news this past year, as the financial crisis unfolded, and the influence of novelist Ayn Rand on Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan became a matter of public debate. POLS 456 (offered Winter 2010) will cover the classic general statements of libertarianism (e.g. Friedman, Hayek, Nozick), but also examine specific policy issues from a libertarian perspective (e.g. drug use, marriage). The course will focus on standard, “right-libertarianism,” but will also address recent debates about “left-libertarianism” (Vallentyne, Steiner, Otsuka; people who start from libertarian philosophical assumptions, but reach egalitarian conclusions about policy, roughly speaking). The readings will all be from the 20th and 21st centuries (though remembering your Locke from POLS 250 would be helpful).

What is libertarianism? The following links will give you the flavour:

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