Polycentrism, Self-Governance, and the Case of Married Women's Rights Reform

The Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, Volume IV, 2011-2012

20 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2012

See all articles by Jayme S. Lemke

Jayme S. Lemke

Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Self-enforcing constitutional constraints provide the means for individuals to discipline government actors. This paper utilizes the theory of polycentric orders as developed by Vincent and Elinor Ostrom to analyze jurisdictional competition as one such self-enforcing constraint. The historical case study of married women’s rights reform in the 19th century is suggested as an appropriate test case for evaluating the feasibility of this mechanism as a means of preserving the self-governing nature of a society. This paper was prepared for the Miller Upton Forum on the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations at Beloit College.

Suggested Citation

Lemke, Jayme S., Polycentrism, Self-Governance, and the Case of Married Women's Rights Reform (2011). The Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, Volume IV, 2011-2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2176304

Jayme S. Lemke (Contact Author)

Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

4400 University Drive, PPE 1A1
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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