Spontaneous Order in the Formation of Non-Territorial Political Jurisdictions
26 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2015
This paper seeks to extend existing theories of spontaneous order in politics to a new theory of spontaneous order in jurisdictions. Under certain conditions the various kinds of jurisdictional changes — citizen mobility and migration, but also external and internal re-bordering, and secession and integration — constitute spontaneous orders. Personal secession and non-territorial governance are parsed as potential mechanisms of jurisdictional change, and some implications of technological change are discussed. Following the knowledge problem critique of attempts to replicate market allocations with central planning, rational constructivist planning of jurisdictional orders succumbs to ‘the knowledge problem of the nation-state.’ Spontaneously ordered political jurisdictions are the general solution to the knowledge problem of the nation-state. I argue that when citizens seek out each other to form political jurisdictions irrespective of location, the jurisdictional order in the resulting non-territorial polycentric democracy is a spontaneous order and potentially curative of the knowledge problem of the nation-state.
Keywords: Spontaneous order, knowledge problem, political coordination, democracy, nation-state, jurisdiction
JEL Classification: B52, P48, F50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation