Mahatma Gandhi and the Prisoner's Dilemma: Strategic Civil Disobedience and Great Britain's Great Loss of Empire in India

Public Choice Society Conference, 2006

The Ninth Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities Conference, 2006

36th Annual Conference on South Asia, Center for South Asia, 2007

35 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2006  

Chowdhury Irad Ahmed Siddiky

University of Essex - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2005

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between statutory monopoly and collective action as a multi-person assurance game culminating in an end to British Empire in India. In a simple theoretical model, it is demonstrated whether or not a collective good enjoys (or is perceived to enjoy) pure jointness of production and why the evolutionary stable strategy of non-violence was supposed to work on the principle that the coordinated reaction of a ethnically differentiated religious crowd to a conflict between two parties (of colonizer and colonized) over confiscatory salt taxation would significantly affect its course. Following Mancur Olson (1965) and Dennis Chong (1991), a model of strategic civil disobedience is created which is used to demonstrate how collective action can be used to produce an all-or-nothing public good to achieve economic and political independence.

Keywords: confiscatory taxation, multi-person assurance game, strategic civil disobedience

JEL Classification: H73, P16, C72, N45

Suggested Citation

Siddiky, Chowdhury Irad Ahmed, Mahatma Gandhi and the Prisoner's Dilemma: Strategic Civil Disobedience and Great Britain's Great Loss of Empire in India (May 2005). Public Choice Society Conference, 2006; The Ninth Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities Conference, 2006; 36th Annual Conference on South Asia, Center for South Asia, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=937148 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.937148

Chowdhury Irad Ahmed Siddiky (Contact Author)

University of Essex - Department of Economics ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

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