The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


Welcome to the New Radical Classical Liberals Blog

The contributors include numerous prominent libertarian political philosophers, including some who are former participants in the Now-Closed Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog.


Last month, I lamented the end of the long-running Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog, and welcomed the establishment of 200-Proof Liberals, a new blog founded by several BHL alumni. I am happy to now welcome the Radical Classical Liberals blog, another new blog founded, in part, by former BHL contributors. It also includes numerous other prominent libertarian/classical liberal philosophers, legal scholars, and political theorists. I am familiar with the work of many of them, and a big fan of their writings, most notably Chandran Kukathas' important work on migration, multiculturalism, and the management of ethnic conflict. I wrote about some of his ideas here. Other prominent contributors include Hiller Steiner (known for his work on property rights and left-libertarianism), Neera Badhwar (who writes about happiness, among other issues), Fernando Teson (a leading scholar of international law and global justice, who is also a contributor to 200-Proof Liberals), and many others.

Philosopher Andrew Jason Cohen has written a helpful post outlining the blog's goals:

As many of you know, the Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog ran from 2011-2020. At least two blogs are taking up elements of BHL's project. If you haven't checked out, we highly recommend it. This, though, is Radical Classical Liberals. Welcome.

A view like that (re)developed and encouraged on BHL is needed in the blogosphere, in academia, and in our broader culture. This blog will provide that—a classical liberal view that maintains a clear and unapologetic concern for the plight of the less fortunate—at a point in time when it seems the world is finally being forced to take those concerns seriously. Importantly, we'll do so in a way meant to encourage greater civil dialogue. We hope to provide a counter to the sound bite culture so prevalent in contemporary media; we do so in order to provide greater understanding—both to our readers and to ourselves…

Our hopes for the blog are varied. They include showcasing the attractiveness of dynamic markets and anti-authoritarian solutions to contemporary problems, how these are often the best hope for those concerned with issues of deprivation, exclusion, and subordination, and how, far too often, government solutions are more pretense than substance. We are all concerned to show how freedom (we may disagree about what that is) goes hand in hand with prosperity for all. Putting that differently, we all recognize the value of markets and social justice on some understanding that recognizes (minimally) the basic moral equality of all human adults. Within that framework, our opinions are likely to vary considerably.

We hope to appeal to those who are curious about moral, legal, political, and social thought. While we all have our own existing biases, we hope to be able to bracket our prior beliefs and argue from acceptable premises to important conclusions—all with respectful and reasoned discussion.

I look forward to their posts with great interest and anticipation!