Repelling States: Evidence from Upland Southeast Asia
Edward Peter Stringham
Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business; Fayetteville State University - School of Business and Economics
Caleb J. Miles
Trinity College (Hartford CT) - Department of Economics
November 25, 2010
Review of Austrian Economics, Forthcoming
Although many economists recognize the existence of stateless orders, economists such as Cowen, Sutter, and Holcombe question how viable stateless orders are in the long run. Research documenting the historical existence of stateless societies is much more developed than our understanding of whether societies can successfully remain free of states. This article analyzes historical and anthropological evidence from societies in Southeast Asia that have avoided states for thousands of years. The article provides an overview of some of their customary legal practices and then describes the mechanisms that they use to avoid, repel, and prevent would-be states. Such stateless societies have successfully repelled states using location, specific production methods, and cultural resistance to states. A better understanding of these mechanisms provides a potential explanation for how such societies remained free of states for long periods of time.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: self-governance, stateless order, ordered anarchy, analytical anarchism
JEL Classification: N45, N95, P16
Date posted: November 26, 2010
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