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


ByMatt Zwolinski, Benjamin Ferguson

part I|91 pages


chapter 1|15 pages

Natural Rights

ByEric Mack

chapter 2|13 pages


ByMartin van Hees

chapter 3|15 pages


ByChristopher Freiman

chapter 4|12 pages


ByJohn Thrasher

chapter 5|14 pages

Virtue Ethics

ByNeera K. Badhwar

chapter 6|20 pages


ByGregory Salmieri

part II|76 pages

Key Concepts

chapter 7|15 pages


ByDaniel C. Russell

chapter 8|15 pages

Property Rights

ByBas van der Vossen

chapter 9|13 pages


ByKyle Swan

chapter 10|16 pages

Force and Coercion

ByBilly Christmas

chapter 11|15 pages

Political Legitimacy and Authority

ByJason Brennan

part III|61 pages

Institutional Regimes

chapter 12|23 pages


ByRoderick T. Long

chapter 13|11 pages

Minimal Statism

ByDavid Gordon

chapter 14|14 pages

Classical Liberalism

ByStephen Davies

chapter 15|11 pages

Left Libertarianism

ByHillel Steiner

part IV|67 pages

Social Issues

chapter 16|16 pages


ByFabio Rojas

chapter 17|16 pages

Sexual Ethics

ByChad Van Schoelandt

chapter 18|16 pages

Sex and Gender

BySteven Horwitz, Sarah Skwire, Akiva Malamet

chapter 19|17 pages


ByDavid M. Hart

part V|89 pages

Domestic Policy Issues

chapter 20|14 pages

The Welfare State

ByMatt Zwolinski

chapter 21|11 pages

Guns and Self-Defense

ByLester H. Hunt

chapter 22|15 pages

Children and the Family

ByAndrew Jason Cohen, Lauren Hall

chapter 23|14 pages

Public Health and Health care Policy

ByJessica Flanigan

chapter 24|15 pages

Policing and Punishment

ByJake Monaghan

chapter 25|18 pages


ByMiranda Perry Fleischer

part VI|87 pages

Global Policy Issues

chapter 26|13 pages

Colonialism and Territorial Rights 1

ByBenjamin Ferguson

chapter 27|13 pages


ByHrishikesh Joshi

chapter 28|14 pages

Rectification and Historic Injustice

ByJason Lee Byas

chapter 29|14 pages

War and Humanitarian Intervention

ByFernando R. Tesón

chapter 30|16 pages

Environmental Issues

ByDan Shahar

chapter 31|15 pages

Intellectual Property

ByAdam Mossoff

part VII|61 pages

Libertarianism and Economic Thought

chapter 32|13 pages

Libertarianism and the Chicago School of Economics

ByRoss Emmett

chapter 33|16 pages

Libertarianism and the Austrian School of Economics

ByPeter J. Boettke

chapter 34|16 pages

Libertarianism and Public Choice

ByMichael Munger

chapter 35|14 pages

Libertarianism and the Bloomington School

ByJayme Lemke, Jordan Lofthouse

part VIII|72 pages

Critiques of Libertarianism

chapter 36|14 pages

Feminist Critiques

ByLori Watson

chapter 37|14 pages

Liberal Egalitarian Critiques

ByRichard Arneson

chapter 38|14 pages

Conservative Critiques

ByJustin Tosi, Brandon Warmke

chapter 39|15 pages

Marxist Critiques

ByAlex Gourevitch

chapter 40|13 pages

Republican Critiques

ByEric MacGilvray