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An Anarchist’s Reflection on the Political Economy of Everyday Life

7 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2011 Last revised: 14 May 2012

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 7, 2012

Abstract

James Scott has written a detailed ethnography on the lives of the peoples of upland Southeast Asia who choose to escape oppressive government by living at the edge of their civilization. To the political economist the fascinating story told by Scott provides useful narratives in need of analytical exposition. There remains in this work a “plea for mechanism”; the mechanisms that enable social cooperation to emerge among individuals living outside the realm of state control. Social cooperation outside the formal rules of governance, nevertheless require “rules” of social intercourse, and techniques of “enforcement” to ensure the disciplining of opportunistic behavior.

Keywords: economic development, self-regulation, political economy, peasant economy

JEL Classification: O17, P48

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J., An Anarchist’s Reflection on the Political Economy of Everyday Life (February 7, 2012). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1892952 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1892952

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

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