Liberty and Civil Society

Conference for Graduate Students – November 11-13, 2016

Discussion Leader: Stephen Davies, Head of Education – Institute for Economic Affairs

Session I – Civil Society and the Scottish Enlightenment

Smith, AdamThe Theory of Moral Sentiments. Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982. Selections from Part VI, Section II, “Introduction” (pages 218), Chapter 1, “Of the Order in Which Individuals are Recommended by Nature to our Care and Attention” (pages 219–227) and Chapter 2, “Of the Order in Which Societies are by Nature Recommended to our Beneficence” (pages 227–234).

Ferguson, Adam. An Essay on the History of Civil Society. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1980, 1995. Part 4, “Of Consequences that Result from the Advancement of Civil and Commercial Arts” (pages 180–203).


Session II – Tocqueville on Civil Society

Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America (English Edition), Volume 2. Edited by Eduardo Nolla. Translated by James T. Schleifer. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2012. Part II, Chapter 1, “Why Democratic Peoples Show a More Ardent and More Enduring Love for Equality Than for Liberty” (pages 872–880), Chapter 2, “Of Individualism in Democratic Countries” (pages 881–884), Chapter 3, “How Individualism Is Greater at the End of a Democratic Revolution than at Another Time” (pages 885–886), Chapter 4, “How the Americans Combat Individualism with Free Institutions” (pages 887–894), Chapter 5, “Of the Use That Americans Make of Association in Civil Life” (pages 895–904), Chapter 6, “Of the Relation between Associations and Newspapers” (pages 905–910), Chapter 7, “Relations between Civil Associations and Political Associations” (pages 911–917), and Chapter 8, “How the Americans Combat Individualism by the Doctrine of Interest Well Understood” (pages 918–925).


Session III – Civil Society in Early America

Massachusetts Historical SocietyCollections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1838. John Winthrop’s “A Modell of Christian Charity (1630)” (8 online pages).

Franklin, BenjaminWritings. New York: The Library of America, 1987. “A Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge Among the British Plantations in America” (pages 295–297) and “Appeal for the Hospital” (pages 361–367).

Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America (English Edition), Volume 1. Edited by Eduardo Nolla. Translated by James T. Schleifer. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2012. Selection from Part I, Chapter 5, “Necessity of Studying What Happens in the Individual States before Speaking about the Government of the Union” (pages 98–114), and Part II, Chapter 4, “Of Political Association in the United States” (pages 302–312).

Paine, Thomas. The Writings of Thomas Paine, Volume I (1774–1779). New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1894. Selection from Chapter 15, “Common Sense: Of the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution” (pages 69–75).


Session IV – Social Institutions and Community

Beito, David T., Peter Gordon, and Alexander Tabarrok, eds. The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002. Chapter 8, David T. Beito’s “This Enormous Army: The Mutual-Aid Tradition of American Fraternal Societies before the Twentieth Century” (pages 182–203) and Chapter 10, James Tooley’s “Education in the Voluntary City” (pages 223–251).

MacCallum, Spencer Heath. The Art of Community. Menlo Park, California: Institute for Humane Studies, Inc., 1970. Chapter 1, “Is the Hotel a Community?” (pages 1–5).


Session V – The State, Markets, and the Role of Civil Society

Putnam, Robert. “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital.” Journal of Democracy (January 1995): 6.1 (pages 65–78). Entire article.

Boaz, David, eds. The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Readings from Lao-tzu to Milton Friedman. New York: The Free Press, 1997. Richard Cornuelle’s “The Power and Poverty of Libertarian Thought” (pages 363–370).

Meadowcroft, John and Mark Pennington. Rescuing Social Capital from Social Democracy. London: The Institute of Economic Affairs, 2007. Chapter 1, “Introduction” (pages 17–19), Chapter 2, “Defining Social Capital” (pages 20–23), Chapter 3, “Social Capital, Social Democracy and the Critique of Liberal Markets” (pages 24–30), Chapter 4, “Classical Liberalism, Markets and the Spontaneous Generation of Bridging Social Capital” (pages 31–45), and Chapter 5, “Markets and the Mix Between Bonding and Bridging Social Capital” (pages 46–63).


Session VI – Egalitarian and Classical Liberal Conceptions of Civil Society

Chambers, Simone and Will Kymlicka, eds. Alternative Conceptions of Civil Society. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002. Part I, Chapter 2, Michael Walzer’s “Equality and Civil Society” (pages 34–49) and Chapter 3, Loren E. Lomasky’s “Classical Liberalism and Civil Society” (pages 50–67).