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Economics, Governance and Law

Essays on Theory and Policy The late Warren J. Samuels, former Professor Emeritus of Economics, Michigan State University, US
This coherent collection of previously published and unpublished papers also includes a specially written introduction by Warren Samuels. The book examines some of the fundamental issues in political economy in a non-judgemental and non-ideological way. The political economy is a process of decision making and these papers attempt to identify the deepest levels of conduct of collective choice. These include official and private government, the ‘rule of law’, the nature of property, rules and markets, deliberative and non-deliberative choice, and the operation of selective perception and of intellectual fraud in politics.
Extent: 224 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2002
ISBN: 978 1 84064 856 0
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Institutional Economics
  • Methodology of Economics
This coherent collection of previously published and unpublished papers also includes a specially written introduction by Warren Samuels. The book examines some of the fundamental issues in political economy in a non-judgemental and non-ideological way. The political economy is a process of decision making and these papers attempt to identify the deepest levels of conduct of collective choice. These include official and private government, the ‘rule of law’, the nature of property, rules and markets, deliberative and non-deliberative choice, and the operation of selective perception and of intellectual fraud in politics.

After an objective reading of these essays, no reader should look at government, globalization, rule of law, constitutions, and revolution in quite the same way.
‘In this era of rising income and inequality and rampant corporate scandal, Samuels’ important book deserves to be widely read.’
– Oren M. Levin-Waldman, Review of Political Economy

‘Warren Samuels’ life work has contributed greatly to our quest to understand the legal–economic nexus and the institutions of social control, and Economics, Governance and Law will not disappoint readers who have come to expect this from Samuels.’
– Peter Boettke, History of Economic Ideas

‘In these highly illuminating and pertinent essays, Warren Samuels addresses one of the most important questions of social science: what is the proper and competent role of government in the economy? He adopts a highly sophisticated and balanced position, against both the naive libertarian belief that government can play a marginal role, and against the equally naive view that government is the panacea for all economic ills. Samuels accepts the reality of spontaneous orders in economic life but denies that they can be completely free from deliberation over laws and rules. Samuels’s work is an excellent contemporary exemplar of a great intellectual tradition in law and economics that goes back through John Commons to his European precursors.’
– Geoffrey M. Hodgson, University of Hertfordshire Business School, UK
Contents: Introduction: The Problem of Government and Governance 1. An Essay on Government and Governance 2. The Political-Economic Logic of World Governance 3. The Rule of Law and the Capture and Use of Government in a World of Inequality 4. Hayek from the Perspective of an Institutionalist Historian of Economic Thought: An Interpretative Essay 5. An Essay on the Unmagic of Norms and Rules and of Markets 6. Theories of Property 7. Property and Philosophy 8. Population Density and the Positive Theory of Property 9. Some Problems in the Use of Languages in Economics 10. The Problem of Double Taxation 11. Walter Adams and James W. Brook’s The Tobacco Wars: The Final Shot of a Warrior for Competitive Markets and Responsible Government 12. The Economic Role of Government As, In Part, A Matter of Selective Perception, Sentiment and Valuation: The Cases of Pigovian and Paretian Welfare Economics (with Steven G. Medema) 13. Buchanan and Musgrave on Public Finance and Public Choice: A Review Essay 14. An Essay on Paretian Fraud, Constitutions, and Revolution Index