The Political Economy of James Buchanan
Economics - Political Science
6 x 9, 216 pp.
Pub Date: 01/01/1990
Texas A&M University Economics Series
  cloth
Price:        $39.50 s

978-0-89096-430-9

Published by Texas A&M University Press

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The Political Economy of James Buchanan

By David Reisman

A political economist whose numerous and influential writings explore the no-man's-land that separates the social science disciplines. The founder of the constitutional economics paradigm, Buchanan was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in economic science for his contributions to a theory of constitutional political economy as well as his leadership of the public choice movement.

In this volume, David Reisman seeks to explain and analyze the important insights of this difficult but stimulating multidisciplinary figure. Buchanan's recommendation of constitutional precommitment will appeal to all economists who share his conviction that politicians and bureaucrats, where not preconstrained by rules that they cannot alter at will, tend rapidly to become not servants but the masters of the electorate. His determination to define and defend the middle ground, neither anarchy nor Leviathan, will have a wider appeal still.

David Reisman is senior lecturer in Economics at the University of Surrey.

What Readers Are Saying:

" . . . a stimulating work that deserves to be widely read. It could even be effectively incorporated into a variety of undergraduate or graduate courses on political economy. In departments where such courses don't exist, The Political Economy of James Buchanan would provide a cogent argument for constructing one." --Constitutional Political Economy

"David Reisman exhibits an understanding and appreciation for Buchanan's work that is most remarkable. He is also erudite and writes with admirable skill . . . for those who prefer reading the review of the movie to either seeing the movie or reading the book, Reisman's book should provide a most valuable and concise introduction to what it is that this radical, libertarian, populist conservative has to say. Reisman's book is so well written that it should provoke even a few of these readers to seek out some of the original texts." --Public Choice, vol. 69

"This small book by David Reisman has now made it possible to send an inquirer to a single volume that puts Buchanan's contributions into a single coherent framework. Moreover, it does so better than any one or even several volumes by Buchanan himself. It is a fine achievement, being an admirable summary of Buchanan's main writings placed into a setting that brings out the essential coherence of his work." --Cato Journal, vol. 10, no. 2

David Reisman provides a fair and complete explication of Buchanan's political arguments. . . . [Buchanan's] normative political economy and its comprehensive proposals for remaking modern democracies become understandable in Reisman's book." --Social Science Quarterly

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