July 27, 2022

Liberalism for All — Liberalism and Social Justice

  • Jayme Lemke

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Nick Cowen

The Hayek Program Podcast includes audio from lectures, interviews, and discussions of scholars and visitors from the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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On this episode of the Hayek Program Podcast, we continue a special summer series of the podcast on Liberalism for All, hosted by Jayme Lemke as she explores the underpinnings and outworkings of a free and open society. Driving the discussion is a set of core questions, including:

  • What does it mean to be liberal in the 21st century?
  • What is the relationship between liberalism and equality?
  • Is the pursuit of equality a threat or opportunity for the liberal project?

Joining Lemke for this episode is Nick Cowen, Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln. In Cowen's recent book, Neoliberal Social Justice, he asks which policies can limit arbitrary socio-economic inequalities, a point Lemke examines further as they discuss what makes an inequality arbitrary. Later in the conversation, Cowen expounds upon the idea of property-owning democracy and why it is not as different from welfare state capitalism as some proponents would argue. Additionally, throughout their dialogue, Cowen and Lemke consider whether the quests for equality and freedom stand complementary or in tension with one another.