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On the problem of scale: Spinozistic sovereignty as the logical foundation of constitutional economics

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamen F. Gussen

    () (University of Auckland)

Abstract

This paper argues that sovereignty, as envisaged by Spinoza, is the logical foundation of constitutional economics. Constitutional constructs such as sovereignty weave an evolutionary dialectic between different organizational scales (the local, national, and global). This dialectic continues to wreak havoc at the local scale, and can be interrupted only through explicit constitutional constraints on the size of jurisdictions. The paper argues for more emphasis on constitutional orders in the spirit of Spinoza’s understanding of sovereignty. This entails preference for federal polities in which sovereignty is shared between different cities rather states where once capital cities dominate.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamen F. Gussen, 2013. "On the problem of scale: Spinozistic sovereignty as the logical foundation of constitutional economics," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 7(1), November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bus:jphile:v:7:y:2013:i:1:n:3
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, 2002. "Opting-Out: the Constitutional Economics of Exit," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 123-158, January.
    2. Robert Jackson, 1999. "Sovereignty in World Politics: a Glance at the Conceptual and Historical Landscape," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 47(3), pages 431-456, August.
    3. Buchanan, James M, 1993. "Public Choice after Socialism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(1), pages 67-74, September.
    4. Walter Block & Thomas J. DiLorenzo, 2000. "Is Voluntary Government Possible? A Critique of Constitutional Economics," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(4), pages 567-567, December.
    5. Merriam, Charles E., 1900. "History of the Theory of Sovereignty since Rousseau," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number merriam1900.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    constitutional economics; sovereignty; Spinoza;

    JEL classification:

    • H79 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other

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