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Freedom, Regulation, and Public Policy

Mark Pennington explores the relationship between freedom, regulation, and public policy. Adopting a “non-ideal” approach, he argues that there is no necessary connection between different conceptions of liberty and any particular sort of regulatory/public policy framework. Both negative and positive conceptions of freedom require a role for “regulation,” but whether this “regulation” arises from public policy or is best left to emerge through private agency in a competitive environment is a matter that can only be resolved by theoretical speculation and empirical inquiry.

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