Have you ever wondered what libertarians think about vaccine mandates? About gun control? About racial and sexual inequalities? While libertarianism is well known as a political theory relating to the scope and justification of state authority, the breadth and depth of libertarian work on a wide range of other topics in social and political philosophy is less well known. This handbook is the first definitive reference on libertarianism that offers an in-depth survey of the central ideas from across philosophy, politics, and economics, including applications to contemporary policy issues.

The forty chapters in this work provide an encyclopedic overview of libertarian scholarship, from foundational debates about natural rights theories vs. utilitarian approaches, to policy debates over immigration, punishment and policing, and intellectual property. Each chapter presents a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of historical and contemporary libertarian thought on its subject, and thus serves as an essential guide to current scholarship, and a starting place for discovering future lines of research. The book also contains a section on criticisms of libertarianism, written by leading scholars from the feminist, republican, socialist, and conservative perspectives, as well as a section on how libertarian political theory relates to various schools of economic thought, such as the Chicago, Austrian, Bloomington, and Public Choice schools.

This book is an essential and comprehensive guide for anyone interested in libertarianism, whether sympathizer or critic.

chapter |9 pages


part I|91 pages


chapter 1|15 pages

Natural Rights

chapter 2|13 pages


chapter 3|15 pages


chapter 4|12 pages


chapter 5|14 pages

Virtue Ethics

chapter 6|20 pages


part II|76 pages

Key Concepts

chapter 7|15 pages


chapter 8|15 pages

Property Rights

chapter 9|13 pages


chapter 10|16 pages

Force and Coercion

chapter 11|15 pages

Political Legitimacy and Authority

part III|61 pages

Institutional Regimes

chapter 12|23 pages


chapter 13|11 pages

Minimal Statism

chapter 14|14 pages

Classical Liberalism

chapter 15|11 pages

Left Libertarianism

part IV|67 pages

Social Issues

chapter 16|16 pages


chapter 17|16 pages

Sexual Ethics

chapter 18|16 pages

Sex and Gender

chapter 19|17 pages


part V|89 pages

Domestic Policy Issues

chapter 20|14 pages

The Welfare State

chapter 21|11 pages

Guns and Self-Defense

chapter 22|15 pages

Children and the Family

chapter 24|15 pages

Policing and Punishment

chapter 25|18 pages


part VI|87 pages

Global Policy Issues

chapter 27|13 pages


chapter 30|16 pages

Environmental Issues

chapter 31|15 pages

Intellectual Property

part VII|61 pages

Libertarianism and Economic Thought

part VIII|72 pages

Critiques of Libertarianism

chapter 36|14 pages

Feminist Critiques

chapter 37|14 pages

Liberal Egalitarian Critiques

chapter 38|14 pages

Conservative Critiques

chapter 39|15 pages

Marxist Critiques

chapter 40|13 pages

Republican Critiques