European cities are often considered a key origin of liberalism. But it's more complicated than you might think.
James A. Robinson looks to the history of West Africa for examples of religious freedom without liberalism.
Hans Eicholz says that "state capacity" may not do as much work as we think.
Mark Koyama and Noel D. Johnson say that competition was important to Europe's story of religious liberalism, but it wasn't enough.
Mark Koyama and Noel D. Johnson discuss the long road to a commonsense idea.
Dalibor Rohac says that federalism is the strategy by which strong government can be turned to the defense of individual liberty.
Hans Eicholz argues that religious toleration emerged from a healthy competition among states and intrastate institutions.
James A. Robinson looks at how early modern states took advantage of religion to support their own authority.
Religion was central to premodern states. So why isn't it central to the story of how modernity arose?