Review of Nudge in Economics and Philosophy
Meadowcroft on "Markets, Discovery, and Social Problems" (from Accepting the Invisible Hand)

Violence Is the Normal Order of Things?

Jonathan B.Wight

Violence In case you haven’t seen it, a (relatively) new book explores the fascinating intersection of morality, law, economics, and development:

Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, and Barry R. Weingast, Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History (Cambridge University Press 2009).

The book received rave reviews from luminaries (it’s on my list of summer reading). 

Here’s the publisher’s blurb:  “All societies must deal with the possibility of violence, and they do so in different ways. This book integrates the problem of violence into a larger social science and historical framework, showing how economic and political behavior are closely linked. Most societies, which we call natural states, limit violence by political manipulation of the economy to create privileged interests. These privileges limit the use of violence by powerful individuals, but doing so hinders both economic and political development. In contrast, modern societies create open access to economic and political organizations, fostering political and economic competition. The book provides a framework for understanding the two types of social orders, why open access societies are both politically and economically more developed, and how some 25 countries have made the transition between the two types.”


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Looks fascinating - thanks, Jonathan!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)