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States as Ecologies of Political Enterprises


  • Giuseppe Eusepi
  • Richard E. Wagner


This paper seeks to overcome an antinomy within the theory of political economy: while market outcomes are treated as resulting from polycentric competition, political outcomes are treated as resulting from hierarchic planning. We seek to overcome this antinomy by treating political outcomes as likewise resulting from polycentric competition, taking due account of relevant institutional differences. For example, a parliamentary assembly is treated as an extra-ordinary form of investment bank that intermediates between the sponsors of enterprises and those within the citizenry who have means to support those enterprises. What results is a theory in which political programs emerge in largely bottom-up fashion through complex networks of transactions. Much of the inspiration for this paper arises from the Italian School of Public Finance, particularly Mazzola, Montemartini, Pantaleoni and de Viti de Marco.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Eusepi & Richard E. Wagner, 2011. "States as Ecologies of Political Enterprises," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 573-585, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:23:y:2011:i:4:p:573-585
    DOI: 10.1080/09538259.2011.611623

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Wagner, 2012. "Rationality, political economy, and fiscal responsibility: wrestling with tragedy on the fiscal commons," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 261-277, September.
    2. Claudio Balestri, 2014. "Political Organizations, Interest Groups and Citizens Engagement: An Integrated Model of Democracy," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 533-543, December.
    3. Meg Patrick & Richard Wagner, 2015. "From mixed economy to entangled political economy: a Paretian social-theoretic orientation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 164(1), pages 103-116, July.

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