The Volokh Conspiracy

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Classical liberalism

Trouble at Liberty Fund?


A long article in Indianapolis Monthly looks at recent turmoil at Liberty Fund. It details internal controversy over a "strategic refresh," changes in leadership and personnel, and the direction of the Law & Liberty blog.

Over the years, I've participated in many Liberty Fund events and have contributed to Liberty Fund publications, but I'm hardly an insider over there and the details in the report were news to me. Liberty Fund has been a fairly unique and highly valuable organization. It publishes affordable editions of out-of-print classics in topics related to classical liberalism. A lot of the books from their catalog are on my shelves. It hosts small, by invitation conferences that gather a diverse set of participants for long conversations about sometimes esoteric topics related to classical liberalism. I've attended quite a few over time and met some great people and participated in some great discussions that would not have occurred anywhere else. More recently they have launched a number of online initiatives, including a podcast, book reviews, and the blog.

The blog is certainly different than a lot of Liberty Fund's activities, so I can understand why it might have become a source of internal controversy. Even so, I'm saddened to hear that the organization has been having such difficulties. I sincerely hope that whatever strategic refresh is being implemented does not threaten the future of the book publishing and conference organizing that has long been at the heart of what Liberty Fund does and that provides a unique benefit to the broader classical liberal movement.

From the the article:

Law and Liberty is still going strong. The conferences are also still happening, but much less frequently than they were when [Nico] Maloberti first joined Liberty Fund, down from some 200 a year to 100. By this spring, the Liberty Fund ranks of fellows had considerably dwindled since Maloberti first joined, from a high-water mark of 16 fellows in 2008 to just five, some due to natural attrition as they moved to other jobs at Liberty Fund, in academia, and elsewhere and weren't replaced.

Read the whole thing here. (hat tip to Brian Leiter, where I first noticed this)