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A Conservative Economist?
ISBN
9781907495335
Uitgever
Modus Associates Limited
Druk vanaf
1e
Verschenen
01-09-2010
Taal
Engels
Bindwijze
ebook EPUB
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A Conservative Economist? ebook: EPUB met Adobe-DRM

The Political Liberalism of Adam Smith Revisited

The history of political thought abounds with the misappropriation of ideas and theories. The modern reputation of Adam Smith, the eighteenth century philosopher and political economist, as a conservative thinker is but one example of the many convoluted intellectual lineages of current political traditions. The dominant image of Adam Smith is that he was the intellectual forebear of contemporary conservative or neo-liberal economics.Robert Falkner is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. When this pamplet was first published he held a Lectureship in Politics at New College, Oxford. This work is an essay in historical and intellectual reinterpretation. It argues that Adam Smith was far from being a laissez-faire doctrinaire and that his work provides an inspiration for a political liberalism which believes in the benefits of the market economy but insists, too, that the liberal economy is embedded in a larger social and political environment. Unlike some modern neo-liberal economists, Smith did not present human nature as that of homo oeconomicus, or rational economic man. Rather, he insisted that the individual is a social being, who acts on the basis not only of economic motives but also of moral considerations. Furthermore, Smith did not abandon politics in favour of economics. He maintained that good governance based on liberal political principles was needed to guarantee prosperity, justice and social cohesion. Good governance, in turn, was in need of a "science of a legislator". The Wealth of Nations was intended to be just such a science of a legislator - the source of the principles which ought to guide the political process.
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