IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

On justifying a minimum welfare state


  • Hartmut Kliemt


Since anarchy is not viable, limited government is the best that the realistic libertarian can hope for. But limited government will itself always be threatened by an inherent tendency to transgress its limits. In modern western societies the regulatory and redistributive welfare state is the major threat to a constitution of liberty. However, a “minimum welfare state” which redistributes personal income among its citizens may comply with the same principles of individual liberty and the rule of law that are embodied in the protective state. Since any state, including the minimal state, necessarily incorporates regulation and redistribution and thus is a welfare state of sorts the non-anarchist liberal should turn against welfare state privileges rather than against redistribution and regulation per se. He may even have good reason to go beyond the minimal state to found a “minimum welfare state” if this is instrumental in securing liberty under the rule of law. Copyright George Mason University 1993

Suggested Citation

  • Hartmut Kliemt, 1993. "On justifying a minimum welfare state," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 159-172, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:4:y:1993:i:2:p:159-172
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02393078

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bos, Dieter & Kolmar, Martin, 2003. "Anarchy, efficiency, and redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(11), pages 2431-2457, October.
    2. Andrej Angelovski & Arianna Galliera & Werner Güth, 2019. "Partial Versus General Compulsory Solidarity: an Experimental Analysis," Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 249-279, December.
    3. Stefan Voigt, 1999. "Breaking with the Notion of Social Contract: Constitutions as Based on Spontaneously Arisen Institutions," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 283-300, October.
    4. Martin Kolmar, 2000. "Constitutions as Commitment or Coordination Device? Comment on C. Azariadis and V. Galasso: Constitutional “Rules” and Intergenerational Fiscal Policy," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 371-374, December.
    5. Eusepi, Giuseppe, 2006. "Public finance and welfare: From the ignorance of the veil to the veil of ignorance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 460-477, April.
    6. Bianchi, Marina, 1995. "Markets and firms Transaction costs versus strategic innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 183-202, October.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:4:y:1993:i:2:p:159-172. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.