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The priority of social order


  • Russell Hardin


If we are to have political, legal, and constitutional order, we must first have a substantial degree of general social order to enable us to create and organize these grander orders. In short, such general order is causally prior to these other broad social orders. General social order historically has been built up spontaneously, perhaps through creation of norms that are enforced within the society whose more general order we wish to explain. It seems likely that many of the members of our society need not recognize many of the norms that govern our actions. Moreover, unlike pristine theory, the societal problem is subject to instrumentalist arguments, at least in a theoretical sense, for many of our social norms. Among the most important of these norms are those that coordinate our actions in manifold repetitive contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Russell Hardin, 2013. "The priority of social order," Rationality and Society, , vol. 25(4), pages 407-421, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ratsoc:v:25:y:2013:i:4:p:407-421

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