Montesquieu's political economy

New York, NY: Palgrave-Macmillan (2015)
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Abstract

This book aims to provides an introductory survey of Montesquieu's economic ideas and a fresh examination of the longstanding controversy over the meaning and purpose of Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws. No one doubts that Montesquieu helped to formulate the core liberal ideals at the heart of the development of liberal republicanism on both the European and American continents. Yet, questions remain about Montesquieu's political intentions. In particular, the view of Montesquieu as a conscious proponent of commercial modernity has come under increasing scrutiny. While not ignoring recent scholarly challenges, Bibby moves the debate forward by uncovering the many hidden connections between commerce, liberty, and religion in The Spirit of the Laws. A failure to make these connections, Bibby argues, has led to significant interpretative errors. This book attempts to eliminate one source of the confusion which continues to cloud Montesquieu's political arguments in obscurity.

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