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Conservative Magazines and the Presumption of Liberty: A Content Analysis on Sex, Gambling, and Drugs


  • Klein, Daniel

    () (George Mason University and The Ratio Institute)

  • Briggeman, Jason

    () (George Mason University)


Conservatives say they are for small government and individual liberty, but a content analysis of leading conservative magazines shows that most have preponderantly failed to take pro-liberty positions on sex, gambling, and drugs. Besides many anti-liberty commissions, the magazines may be criticized for anti-liberty omission—that is, failing to oppose anti-liberty policies. Magazines investigated include National Review, The Weekly Standard, The American Enterprise, and The American Spectator. We find that National Review has had the strongest record on liberty on the issues treated, while the others have preponderantly failed to be pro-liberty or have even been anti-liberty.

Suggested Citation

  • Klein, Daniel & Briggeman, Jason, 2009. "Conservative Magazines and the Presumption of Liberty: A Content Analysis on Sex, Gambling, and Drugs," Ratio Working Papers 131, The Ratio Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0131 Note: To appear in The Independent Review

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    More about this item


    Conservative; liberty; sex; drugs; gambling;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values

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