The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law

Paperback | March 6, 2014

byRandy E. Barnett

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In this book, legal scholar Randy Barnett elaborates and defends the fundamental premise of the Declaration of Independence: that all persons have a natural right to pursue happiness so long as they respect the equal rights of others, and that governments are only justly established to securethese rights.Drawing upon insights from philosophy, economics, political theory, and law, Barnett explains why, when people pursue happiness while living in society with each other, they confront the pervasive social problems of knowledge, interest and power. These problems are best dealt with by ensuring theliberty of the people to pursue their own ends, but this liberty is distinguished from "license" by certain fundamental rights and procedures associated with the classical liberal conception of "justice" and "the rule of law." He then outlines the constitutional framework that is needed to put theseprinciples into practice.In a new Afterword to this second edition, Barnett elaborates on this thesis by responding to several important criticisms of the original work. He then explains how this "libertarian" approach is more modest than either the "social justice" theories of the left or the "legal moralism" of theright.

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In this book, legal scholar Randy Barnett elaborates and defends the fundamental premise of the Declaration of Independence: that all persons have a natural right to pursue happiness so long as they respect the equal rights of others, and that governments are only justly established to securethese rights.Drawing upon insights from phil...

Randy E. Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he directs the Georgetown Center for the Constitution and teaches constitutional law and contracts. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Pennsylvania, and Northwestern. In 2008, he wa...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.07 inPublished:March 6, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019870092X

ISBN - 13:9780198700920

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Liberty vs. LicensePart I: The Problems of Knowledge2. Using Resources: The First-Order Problem of Knowledge3. Two Methods of Social Ordering4. The Liberal Conception of Justice5. Communicating Justice: The Second-Order Problem of Knowledge6. Specifying Conventions: The Third-Order Problem of KnowledgePart II: The Problems of Interest7. The Partiality Problem8. The Incentive Problem9. The Compliance ProblemPart III: The Problems of Power10. The Problem of Enforcement Error11. Fighting Crime Without Punishment12. The Problem of Enforcement Abuse13. Constitutional Constraints on Power14. Imagining a Polycentric Constitutional Order: A Short FablePart IV: Responses to Objections15. Beyond Justice and the Rule of Law?16. Afterword

Editorial Reviews

"His interest in basic theory as it relates to the uses and abuses of political power makes his views on a wide range of state policy issues, from taxation to criminal law, worthy of careful attention" --Reason