The Calculus of Consent
was co-authored by Buchanan with Gordon Tullock, with whom Buchanan collaborated on many books and academic enterprises throughout their careers. As Robert D. Tollison states in the foreword, ?[this book] is a radical departure from the way democracies conduct their business. The Calculus
is already a book for the ages.?
This classic work analyzes the political organization of a free society through the lens of the economic organization of society. The authors acknowledge their unease as economists in analyzing the political organization, but they take the risk of forging into unfamiliar territory because they believe the benefits of their perspective will bear much fruit.
As the authors state, their objective in this book is ?to analyze the calculus of the rational individual when he is faced with questions of constitutional choice . . . .We examine the [choice] process extensively only with reference to the problem of decision-making rules.?
The authors describe their approach as ?economic individualism.? They believe that economists have explored individual choice extensively in the market sector while social scientists have largely ignored the dynamics of individual decision-making in the dynamics of forming group action in the public sector.
Written in the early 1960s, The Calculus of Consent
has become a bulwark of the public choice movement for which James M. Buchanan is so justly famous. James M. Buchanan
is an eminent economist who won the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1986 and is considered one of the greatest scholars of liberty in the twentieth century.
The entire series includes:
Volume 1: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty
Volume 2: Public Principles of Public Debt
Volume 3: The Calculus of Consent
Volume 4: Public Finance in Democratic Process
Volume 5: The Demand and Supply of Public Goods
Volume 6: Cost and Choice
Volume 7: The Limits of Liberty
Volume 8: Democracy in Deficit
Volume 9: The Power to Tax
Volume 10: The Reason of Rules
Volume 11: Politics by Principle, Not Interest
Volume 12: Economic Inquiry and Its Logic
Volume 13: Politics as Public Choice
Volume 14: Debt and Taxes
Volume 15: Externalities and Public Expenditure Theory
Volume 16: Choice, Contract, and Constitutions
Volume 17: Moral Science and Moral Order
Volume 18: Federalism, Liberty, and the Law
Volume 19: Ideas, Persons, and Events
Volume 20: Indexes