Essays in honour of Norman P Barry
Edited by Michael James
In March 2009 a symposium was held in honour of Norman P. Barry at the University of Buckingham, where he had been Professor of Social and Political Theory since 1984. Originally planned for his retirement, the symposium became a fitting commemoration for him following his death in October 2008.
Most of the contributions to this collection are based on the papers read at the symposium, by distinguished authors from Britain, the United States and beyond. Some of them review and assess Norman Barry’s achievement as a scholar and a teacher. Several are devoted to topics to which Norman Barry made major contributions, such as business ethics and the modern relevance of Hayek’s “road to serfdom” thesis. Others deal with topics such as environmental protection and social capital, which present equal challenges to the future relevance and vitality of the classical liberal tradition.
A few years before his death, Norman Barry’s reputation as a scholar and exponent of classical liberalism in the tradition of F. A. Hayek earned him a commission to write a book about Ronald Dworkin, a leading exponent of “modern” liberalism and its foundation in an expansive conception of human rights in place of the individual liberty that classical liberals stress. Norman Barry was unable to complete the project, but he did compose an extended essay on Dworkin, which was never published in full in his lifetime. The complete version included in this collection is welcome compensation for the vigorous contribution Norman would undoubtedly have made at his own retirement symposium.