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Title: The economics and ethics of public goods : a praxeological analysis
Author: Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 4108
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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The aim of the present thesis is to investigate the putative theoretical desirability, both from the economic and the ethical point of view, as well as the practical inevitability of the presence of a monopoly of force in any given system of political economy. The primary methodological tool used for this purpose, described in Chapter 1, is praxeological analysis in the spirit of the Austrian School of Economics, coupled with the analysis of institutional robustness of the relevant economic and social frameworks. Chapter 2 presents a general theoretical critique of the neoclassical theory of public goods. Chapters 3 and 4 make the critique in question more specific and practically grounded by analyzing the ways in which the two most paradigmatic public goods in the neoclassical theory – namely, law and defense – could be effectively produced in a contractual, entrepreneurial order of legal polycentrism. Chapter 5 tackles the claim that, while not necessary for the production of public goods, monopolies of force are nonetheless inevitable due to the combined influence of the iron law of oligarchy and the collective action problem. Finally, Chapter 6 tries to pin down various ethical conceptions of public goods and argue that none of them can sustain the notion that a fully voluntary and contractual social order generates a tradeoff between efficiency and equity, which can be countered only by corrective interventions of a monopoly of force. The final conclusion of the present thesis is that neither economic nor ethical considerations surrounding the notion of public goods establish the desirability or inevitability of the existence of territorial monopolies of force, thus lending support to the suggestion that the emergence of a world-wide contractual, competitive, entrepreneurial order of legal polycentrism would be a welcome alternative.
Supervisor: Salter, Brian George ; Pennington, Mark ; Tebble, Adam James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available