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The Reason of Rules


  • Brennan,Geoffrey
  • Buchanan,James M.


Societies function on the basis of rules. These rules, rather like the rules of the road, coordinate the activities of individuals who have a variety of goals and purposes. Whether the rules work well or ill, and how they can be made to work better, is a matter of major concern. Appropriately interpreted, the working of social rules is also the central subject matter of modern political economy. This book is about rules - what they are, how they work, and how they can be properly analysed. The authors' objective is to understand the workings of alternative political institutions so that choices among such institutions (rules) can be more fully informed. Thus, broadly defined, the methodology of constitutional political economy is the subject matter of The Reason of Rules. The authors have examined how rules for political order work, how such rules might be chosen, and how normative criteria for such choices might be established.

Suggested Citation

  • Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2008. "The Reason of Rules," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521070904, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521070904

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Conybeare, John A C & Murdoch, James C & Sandler, Todd, 1994. "Alternative Collective-Goods Models of Military Alliances: Theory and Empirics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 525-542, October.
    2. Coase, R H, 1976. "Adam Smith's Views of Man," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 529-546, October.
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    1. Vaughan, Mehana Blaich & Caldwell, Margaret R., 2015. "Hana Pa'a: Challenges and lessons for early phases of co-management," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 51-62.

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