Emergent Politics and Constitutional Drift: The Fragility of Procedural Liberalism

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Forthcoming

34 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2016 Last revised: 4 Sep 2017

See all articles by Alexander William Salter

Alexander William Salter

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

Glenn Furton

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics; Texas Tech University

Date Written: September 4, 2017

Abstract

What does the reality of political bargains imply for the sustainability of constitutions enshrining procedural liberalism? I explore this question by taking a catallactic, or transactional, view of politics. I claim that the economic way of thinking — purposive behavior and exchange activity — is a valid means of understanding these phenomena, but I also argue that various theories of bureaucracies and elites that have been largely ignored by economists also must play a role. This view of the state is important because it seriously questions the received wisdom regarding how the state can be empowered to protect us and produce for us, without preying on us. Augmented by the insights of thinkers such as Burnham, Schmitt, Michels, Mosca, and Pareto, a catallactic and emergent view of constitutions shows that the quis custodiet? problem has not been solved, but ignored.

Keywords: Constitutional bargain, elite theory, formal constitution, informal constitution, politics as exchange, procedural liberalism

JEL Classification: B5, H11, H83, P14, P16

Suggested Citation

Salter, Alexander William and Furton, Glenn, Emergent Politics and Constitutional Drift: The Fragility of Procedural Liberalism (September 4, 2017). Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2843243 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2843243

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

Glenn Furton

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

Box 42132
Lubbock, TX 79409-2132
United States

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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