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Spring 2024 Seminar

Classical Liberalism and the Rule of Law

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam. Students will be expected to complete two short papers in response to course readings, and a longer paper at the end of the course.

This course will examine the indispensable role of the Rule of Law in free societies. We will first explore the the nature of free societies as described by classical-liberal theory, notably in the writings of Friedrich Hayek. We will also contrast free societies with collectivist ones, which rule by commands. We will then identify the essential elements of the Rule of Law as understood by classical-liberal theory. To that end, we will examine the development of the Rule of Law in 17th century England, the extent to which our Constitution embodies the classical-liberal understanding of the Rule of Law, and the tension between the Rule of Law and the modern administrative state.

Note: This seminar will meet over six weeks on the following dates:

  • January 25, 26
  • February 1, 2
  • February 15, 16
  • February 22, 23
  • March 7, 8
  • March 28, 29