Welfare and Amenity in the Work of Bertrand de Jouvenel
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How to Cite

Welfare and Amenity in the Work of Bertrand de Jouvenel. (2003). The Political Science Reviewer, 32, 38-57. https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/422


With the possible exception of his 1949 lectures on "The Ethics of Redistribution,"1 Bertrand de Jouvenel's economic writings are not well known, even to those who are familiar with his work in political science.2 Among political scientists, of course, he is known as one of the most astute analysts of the pathologies of modern politics. His great trilogy, which begins with On Power, and continues in Sovereignty and The Pure Theory of Politics,3 deals (among other things) with the tendency of the modern state to absorb more and more of society's resources into its own hands, and to use the resulting booty for ends that are almost wholly destructive. This tendency is both politically dangerous and economically wasteful. Jouvenel stands, therefore, in the great tradition of the liberal economists, from Hayek and von Mises to Milton Friedman, in urging a smaller public sector, and he also stands within the older tradition of liberal political science, in defending constitutional, limited government.
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