There is a lively online debate taking place on many of the issues which Modern Liberty seeks to address as well as some great books and articles. You can find succinct summaries of the debate so far, and links to interesting posts within it, in our ‘Blog Carnival’.

Below, you can find a set of useful readings for each of the sessions at the Convention.

If you know of any more that we should include then do let us know.


Beetham, D, Carvalho, E, Landman, T, and Weir, S, Assessing the Quality of Democracy: A Practical Guide, (free from International IDEA, Stockholm)

Beetham, D, Byrne, I, Ngan, P, and Weir, S, Democracy Under Blair, (Politico’s 2002-03)

Beetham, D, Blick, A, Margetts, H, and Weir, S, Power and Participation in Modern Britain (Democratic Audit 2008)

Begg, Moazzam and Victoria Brittain, Enemy Combatant, (New Press 2007)

Bennett, Colin, The Privacy Advocates: Resisting the Spread of Surveillance, (MIT Press 2008)

Blick, A, Choudhury, T, and Weir, S, The Rules of the Game: Terrorism, Community and Human Rights (2006)

Colley, Linda, Taking Stock of Taking Liberties: A Personal View, (British Library 2009)

Edwards, Michael, Civil Society, (Polity 2004)

Grayling AC, Towards the Light, (Bloomsbury 2008)

Kaldor, Mary, Human Security, (Polity 2007)

Klug, Francesca, Values for a Godless Age: The History of the Human Rights Act, (Penguin 2008)

Kumar, Satish, You Are Therefore I Am: A Declaration of Dependence, (Green Books 2002)

Margetts, H, John, P, Rowland, D, and Weir, S, The BNP: the roots if its appeal (2005)

Marquand, David, Britain Since 1918, (Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2008)

Meyer, Christopher, DC Confidential, (Phoenix 2006)

Oborne, Peter, The Triumph of the Political Class, (Simon & Schuster 2007)

Robertson, Geoffrey (ed) The Putney Debates, (Verso 2007)

Rogers, Paul, Why We’re Losing the War on Terror, (Polity 2008)

Skinner, Quentin, Liberty before Liberalism, (CUP 1998)

Weir, S (author and editor), Unequal Britain: human rights as a route to social justice, (Politico’s, 2006)

Weir, Stuart (ed),  A World of Difference: Parliamentary Oversight of British Foreign Policy (joint report by Democratic Audit, the Federal Trust and One World Trust, 2006)

Whitley, Edgar and Andrew Pickering (ed),  Media and Public Perceptions of Identity Cards, Privacy and Surveillance: Public Opinion and Policy, (Knowledge Politics, 2008)

Laidler, Keith, Surveillance Unlimited (Icon Books 2008)

Atkins, Chris et al, Taking Liberties (Revolver Boosk 2007) The DVD is also recommended viewing.

Paine, Thomas, Rights of Man (Penguin Classics)

Locke, John, Two Treatises on Government (Everyman)

Mill, John Stuart, On Liberty (Penguin Classics)

Rawls, John, A Theory of Justice

Miller, David, Political Philiosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press)

Crick, Bernard, Democracy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press)

Clapham, Andrew, Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press)

Ashley, Mike, Taking Liberties (British Library Publishing)

Historic texts

Diffusion have been re-publishing some key historic charters of rights and declarations in free downloadable book format, Diffusion eBooks.

So far they include: Charter of Liberties, Magna Carta, Forest Charter, Petition of Right, Agreement of Free People of England, Bill of Rights, People’s Charter, UN Declaration of Human Rights & Charter 88.


The Guardian has been running a series of blogs to mark the Convention on its new liberty central site.  ”Did you know…” looks at some of the lesser known threats to our freedom from recent laws.

The Guardian also ran a series of articles to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including AC Grayling’s daily blog of the articles of the Convention.

Blogs and websites

Barcode Nation
Civic Republicans
Henry Porter’s blog
James Hammerton’s blog
Liberal Conspiracy
Magna Carta Plus News
Notes from the Surveillance Society
The Register
Spy Blog
UK Liberty
Various Philosophies of Cynicism