The Great Society is Hayek?s term for his version of a classical liberal polity based on free-markets, limited government, and the rule of law. Conceived in the struggle against socialism and fascism, the idea of the Great Society can still serve as a model of a free society to set against contemporary regressions into economic populism, ethnic nationalism, fundamentalist theocracy and other forms of what Hayek would not hesitate to call tribalism. The idea of spontaneous order is Hayek?s best known contribution to contemporary social science. In Hayek?s view, spontaneous order - the emergence of complex order as the unintended consequence of individual actions that have no such end in view - is both the origin of the Great Society and its underlying principle. In this sense, the idea of the Great Society and the idea of spontaneous order stand or fall together. The essays in this volume assess these two themes in Hayek?s thought. They represent a wide range of intellectual and disciplinary approaches. They are also often sharply critical of various aspects of Hayek?s position. But they are united in the conviction that a careful study of his intellectual project can help us to understand, and perhaps even suggest some tentative solutions to, our contemporary social and political dilemmas.

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