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Repelling States: Evidence from Upland Southeast Asia

Edward Peter Stringham

Trinity College

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

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Date posted: November 26, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Stringham, Edward Peter and Miles, Caleb J., Repelling States: Evidence from Upland Southeast Asia (November 25, 2010). Review of Austrian Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1715223

Contact Information

Edward Peter Stringham (Contact Author)
Trinity College ( email )
United States
Caleb J. Miles
Trinity College (Hartford CT) - Department of Economics ( email )
United States
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