Sovereignty as Exchange of Political Property Rights

35 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2014 Last revised: 12 Dec 2015

See all articles by Alexander William Salter

Alexander William Salter

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: September 10, 2015

Abstract

I develop a positive theory of sovereignty that is rooted in political exchange. The key concept I use to characterize sovereignty is self-enforcing exchange of political rights. I conclude that a sovereign is an individual or body party to political exchange that does not rest on third-party enforcement. Importantly, sovereignty is an emergent phenomenon, defined in the process of bargains between holders of political power. I describe how political bargains within and across polities influences the distribution of political rights characterized by sovereignty, and I conclude by showing how my conception of sovereignty is compatible with theoretical understanding, and practical existence, of polycentric governance.

Keywords: Anarchy, Catallaxy, Constitutions, Politics as exchange, Polycentricity, Sovereignty

JEL Classification: B53, H1, H77, P5

Suggested Citation

Salter, Alexander William, Sovereignty as Exchange of Political Property Rights (September 10, 2015). Public Choice 165(1) 2015: 79-96. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2535471 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2535471

Alexander William Salter (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

HOME PAGE: http://awsalter.com

American Institute for Economic Research

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

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