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By Dave Jones on May 11, 2020

Book cover and Mark R. Reiff mugshot

  • In the Name of Liberty: The Argument for Universal Unionization
  • By Mark R. Reiff, research associate, Department of Philosophy
  • Cambridge University Press, 2020

“Mark R. Reiff performs an astonishing intellectual feat in this deeply researched, incisively reasoned and passionately argued volume.” — Joseph A. McCartin, professor of history, Georgetown University


In the Name of Liberty, author Mark R. Reiff says, “reclaims the argument for liberty from the political right; paves the way for political philosophers to give unionization the same detailed attention they have long devoted to inequality, but have not applied to unionization before; and provides the first and only moral argument for universal unionization — the mandatory unionization of every firm — that is consistent with the principles of liberal capitalism.”

In a review, Georgetown history professor Joseph A. McCartin wrote: “[Reiff] deftly demolishes the claims of those who critique unions for infringing individual liberty; then he elegantly constructs in their place not only a powerful liberty-based argument for unionization, but for universal unionization.

“His persuasive contention that strong unions are a prerequisite for the preservation of true liberty within 21st-century capitalism demands the attention of anyone who cares about the intertwined fates of workers’ rights and democracy.”

This is Reiff’s fifth book, after On Unemployment, Volume I: A Micro-Theory of Economic Justice and On Unemployment, Volume II: Achieving Economic Justice After the Great Recession (both published in 2015); Exploitation and Economic Justice in the Liberal Capitalist State (2013); and Punishment, Compensation and Law: A Theory of Enforceability (2005).