Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 171–185 | Cite as

Contractarianism as Liberal Conservatism: Buchanan's Unfinished Philosophical Agenda

  • Hartmut Kliemt


This paper distinguishes several types of contractarianism. It argues that Buchanan type contractarianism may be classified as a specific “formal type” of conservatism that grants normative status to the status quo. How such conservative contractarianism relates to and possibly blends into classical liberalism is sketched and it is suggested that classical liberal ideals along with a specific form of conservatism rather than the idea of a contract per se should be seen as the core of Buchanan type contractarianism.


Normative Status Specific Form Formal Type Type Contractarianism Liberal Ideal 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hartmut Kliemt
    • 1
  1. 1.Gerhard-Mercator-Universität-GH-Duisburg, Fachbereich 1/Fach PhilosophieDuisburgGermany

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