Constitutional Economics and Public Institutions
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Constitutional Economics and Public Institutions

Edited by Francisco Cabrillo and Miguel A. Puchades-Navarro

This extensive book explores in detail a wide range of topics within the public choice and constitutional political economy tradition, providing a comprehensive overview of current work across the field.
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Chapter 2: Buchanan, Hobbes and contractarianism: the supply of rules?

Geoffrey Brennan and Giuseppe Eusepi


José Casas Pardo has been for many years Spain’s most distinguished scholar in the ‘constitutional political economy’ tradition and in that sense the most faithful Spanish disciple of American Nobel Laureate James Buchanan. Accordingly, it has seemed to us that, in seeking to honour our Spanish colleague, it would be appropriate to revisit two of the Buchanan classics in the field – The Calculus of Consent and The Limits of Liberty. The former is now hovering on its fiftieth anniversary, the latter well beyond its thirtieth, while Buchanan himself celebrates his ninetieth birthday this year. The particular aspect of the two works on which we seek to focus is the change in Buchanan’s perception of the ‘constitutional political economy’ project between the two works, occurring over the space of a dozen or so years. We are inclined to think that there is a quite deep shift in Buchanan’s views about what the CPE project entails.

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