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An Introduction to Destructive Coordination

  • Mehrdad Vahabi

    ()

    (ERASME - Equipe de recherche et d'analyse des sociétés Maghreb-Europe - Université Paris VIII - Vincennes Saint-Denis : EA3389)

Polanyi (1944, [1957] 1968) has distinguished three 'patterns of social integration,' namely 'reciprocity', 'redistribution' and 'exchange.' This triad has provided the starting point for most subsequent discussion. Our purpose is to introduce a further type of coordination, the 'destructive mode of coordination'. This mode achieves coordination by intimidation, threat, and the use of non-institutionalized coercive means. Resources and human efforts are allocated in order to appropriate what other people produce. Two simple examples provide an introductory illustration, traffic circles (roundabouts) and prisons. Appropriation through pirating provides a further example of destructive coordination. More specifically, biopiracy (blood patenting) is discussed in order to clarify the relationship between destructive coordination and the institutionalization of property rights. Finally, we focus on the role of destructive coordination as a transitional mechanism that is supported by the institutional vacuum ultimately yielding to other modes of coordination.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00629124.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 2009, 68, 2, 353-386
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00629124
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00629124
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  1. Rosenthal, Robert W., 1981. "Games of perfect information, predatory pricing and the chain-store paradox," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 92-100, August.
  2. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2010. "Ordres contradictoires et coordination destructive : Le malaise iranien," Post-Print hal-00629134, HAL.
  3. Friedman, David D., 1994. "Law as a Private Good: A Response to Tyler Cowen on the Economics of Anarchy," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 319-327, October.
  4. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1998. "On Custom in the Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292241, March.
  5. Daniel Bromley, 1992. "The commons, common property, and environmental policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 1-17, January.
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