Post-Cameralist Governance: Towards a Robust Political Economy of Bureaucracy

Economic Affairs, Forthcoming

28 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2015 Last revised: 29 Jul 2016

See all articles by Alexander William Salter

Alexander William Salter

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

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Date Written: July 29, 2016


I develop a robust political economy of bureaucracy by highlighting the conditions necessary for hierarchical administrative bodies to govern protectively and productively, but not predatorily. These conditions are residual claimancy and jurisdictional competition. I make this argument by exploring a post-cameralist interpretation of governance. Cameralism arose as a governance philosophy in the fractured principalities of 17th century Germany following the Thirty Year’s War. Post-cameralism focuses not on particular cameralist governance strategies, but on a paradigm which sees governance as an activity provided within a larger exchange order, rather than imposing itself on that order, as in more conventional treatments of public economics. While a post-cameralist conception of governance comes with its own challenges, such as tensions with normative visions that promote self-governance, it nonetheless presents an intriguing synthesis of monocentric and polycentric insights.

Keywords: Bureaucracy, cameralism, jurisdictional competition, post-cameralism, polycentricity, residual claimancy, robust political economy

JEL Classification: H11, H77, H83, P14, P16

Suggested Citation

Salter, Alexander William, Post-Cameralist Governance: Towards a Robust Political Economy of Bureaucracy (July 29, 2016). Economic Affairs, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: or

Alexander William Salter (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79409
United States


American Institute for Economic Research

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
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