Can social conservatives and libertarians ever move beyond "agreeing to disagree"? Can those who emphasise safeguarding traditional morality and religion and those who stress the need to keep government firmly within fixed bounds form a principled alliance? In Constitutional Conservatism, Peter Berkowitz identifies the political principles social conservatives and libertarians share, or should share, and sketches the common ground on which they can and should join forces. Drawing on the writings of Edmund Burke, The Federalist, and the high points of post-World War II American conservatism, Berkowitz argues that the top political priority for social conservatives and libertarians should be to unite by rallying around the principles of liberty outlined in the Constitution and reclaim the wisdom embodied in America's founding charter of government. He shows that constitutional conservatism, well understood, provides a framework for developing a distinctive political agenda to which both social conservatives and libertarian conservatives can in good conscience subscribe.
Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he chairs the Koret-Taube Task Force on National Security and Law. He was cofounder and director of the Israel Program on Constitutional Government, has served as a senior consultant to the President's Council on Bioethics, and is a member of the Policy Advisory Board at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.