Although most people believe that some form of government is necessary, until recently it was merely an assumption that had never been analyzed from an economic point of view. This changed in the 1970s when economists at the Center for the Study of Public Choice engaged in a systematic exploration of the issue. This stimulating collection, the first book-length treatment on the public choice theory of government, continues and extends the research program begun more than three decades ago.
The book reprints the main articles from the 1972 volume Explorations in the Theory of Anarchy, and contains a response to each chapter, as well as new comments by Gordon Tullock, James Buchanan, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel and Peter Boettke. The younger economists are notably less pessimistic about markets and more pessimistic about government than their predecessors. Much of the new analysis suggests that private property rights and contracts can exist without government, and that even though problems exist, government does not seem to offer a solution. Might anarchy be the best choice after all? This provocative volume explores this issue in-depth and provides some interesting answers.
Economists, political scientists, philosophers and lawyers interested in public choice, political economy and spontaneous order will find this series of essays illuminating.
Contents: 1. Introduction Edward Stringham 2. Individual Welfare in Anarchy Winston Bush 3. Jungle or Just Bush? Anarchy and the Evolution of Cooperation Jason Osborne 4. The Edge of the Jungle Gordon Tullock 5. Social Interaction without the State Christopher Coyne 6. Towards a Theory of the Evolution of Government J. Patrick Gunning 7. Do Contracts Require Formal Enforcement? Peter T. Leeson 8. Before Public Choice James M. Buchanan 9. Public Choice and Leviathan Benjamin Powell 10. Cases in Anarchy Thomas Hogarty 11. Defining Anarchy as Rock-n-Roll: Rethinking Hogarty's Three Cases Virgil Storr 12. Private Property Anarchism: An American Variant Laurence Moss 13. Anarchism and the Theory of Power Warren Samuels 14. Polycentrism and Power Scott Beaulier 15. Reflections After Three Decades James M. Buchanan 16. Anarchy Gordon Tullock 17. Tullock on Anarchy Jeffrey Rogers Hummel 18. Anarchism as a Progressive Research Program in Political Economy Peter J. Boettke Index