The Emergence, Restoration, and Resiliency of Self-Governance
20 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2017
Date Written: November 4, 2017
Can self-governance emerge in new and unfamiliar contexts, be restored following a sustained period of government control or provision, and exhibit resiliency in extreme disruption? Economic arguments for regulation, state provision of a good or service, and welfare state programs are often advanced on the basis that individuals lack the capacity for self-governance. Individuals may lack the capacity for self-governance out of fear of responsibility, lack of knowledge, and/or the proper informal institutions, culture, or morality. This paper uses three case studies to examine the capacity for self-governance in each of these contexts. We analyze the emergence of self-governance in new technological arenas, the restoration of self-governance in individual responsibility for saving/investing following pension reforms, and the resiliency of self-governance in the wake of natural disasters. In all three cases, we find that a robust capacity for self-governance indeed exists.
Keywords: self-governance, spontaneous order, civil society
JEL Classification: B53, D02
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation