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
Date Written: September 4, 2017
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: Suggested Citation