Political Science and Emergent Order

*Adelstein, Richard. “Charles E. Lindblom,” in W. J. Samuels, ed., New Horizons in Economic Thought: Appraisals of Leading Economists, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham UK (1992), pp. 202-226.

An excellent over view of the work of Charles Lindblom on the character of democratic politics. Lindblom is perhaps then first major political scientist who incorporated Hayekian spontaneous order insights – not necessarily explicitly – into the study of democratic politics. More critical of certain aspects of the market than Hayek, Lindblom nevertheless extended his insights about the advantages of nonhierarchical institutions, the limits of reason, piece-meal adaptation limited by feedback within a complex order, and how the democratic process enables adjustments that would be unlikely or impossible under deliberate direction. Also discussed, more critically, is Lindblom’s critique of corporate influence within the American political system.

Crick, Bernard. In Defense of Politics, 4th ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. 272 pp.

Crick’s concept of politics is in complete keeping with a spontaneous order analysis, but with no apparent awareness of the term or concept. A classic statement of politics as a discovery process. Written without any apparent awareness of the self-organizing model or the Hayekian focus on discovery, Crick’s analysis is an independent discovery of their importance in politics.

Deutsch, Karl. The Nerves of Government, Free Press, 1963.

Deutsch’s book was a pioneering attempt to apply cybernetic system theory to the study of politics. He did not work with a self-organizing model emphasizing discovery far from equilibrium, but rather one focusing on the political system’s tendency to approach a hypothetical equilibrium. A book of substantial historical importance for intellectual background.

* diZerega, Gus. “Liberalism, Democracy and the State: Reclaiming the Unity of Liberal Politics” Review of Politics, Fall, 2001.

Traditional liberalism shattered into progressive and classical liberalism due to the growth of modern democracy and the rise of the industrial market economy. Both considered democracy to be a state when it is not. This error helps explain serious analytic and policy difficulties within both schools of liberal thought. Excerpts can be found at http://www.dizerega.com under “Politics.” Entire paper may be downloaded at http://www.dizerega.libunity.pdf.

* diZerega, Gus. Persuasion, Power and Polity: A Theory of Democratic Self-Organization Hampton Press, 2000.

This is an in-depth discussion of how representative democracy can be most effectively understood as a spontaneous order. It includes analyses of traditional democratic theory, empirical studies of issues in contemporary democratic politics, and a discussion of how this framework gives new perspectives of issues of democratic reform. At this time it is the only book developing the democracy as spontaneous order thesis and exploring its implications within several areas of political analysis.

diZerega, Gus. Federalism, Self-Organization, and the Dissolution of the State, Telos, no. 100, Summer, 1994. 57-86.

The self-organizing systems model offers new insights on whether centralized or decentralized and federal democratic systems best serve the public interest. Democracies have fluid and open borders. Local self-governing institutions often have more in common with similar adjacent units in other countries. With growing complexity, the future of novel local self-governance is bright. Excerpts can be found at http://www.dizerega.com under “Politics.” Entire paper may be downloaded at http://www.dizerega.federal.pdf. This argument is also present in diZerega, 2000.

diZerega, Gus. Elites and Democratic Theory: Insights From the Self-Organizing Model. Review of Politics, June, 1991. 340-372.

Much democratic research and theory concerns itself with elites. Their status is traditionally uneasy, always present but not quite legitimate. The self-organizing model helps better situate elites as a crucial but sometimes troubling element in complex democratic systems. In the process ruling elite theories are critiqued and pluralist theory elaborated upon. Excerpts can be found at http://www.dizerega.com under “Politics.” Entire paper may be downloaded at http://www.dizerega.com/elites.pdf. This argument is also present in diZerega, 2000.

diZerega, Gus. Democracy as Spontaneous Order, Critical Review, Spring, 1989. pp. 206-240.

Classical liberal thinkers have long been distrustful of political democracy. Yet liberalization of societies has also involves their democratization. This paradox is resolved when we recognize that democracies are spontaneous orders like the other liberal institutions of science and the market. Excerpts can be found at http://www.dizerega.com under “Politics.” Entire paper may be downloaded at http://www.dizerega.com/demspon1.pdf. This argument is also present in diZerega 2000.

Dobuzinskis, Laurent. The Complexities of Spontaneous Order, Critical Review, Spring, 1989. pp. 241-266.

Dobuzinskis argues that Hayek’s model of spontaneous order has been prematurely developed into an ideology of “Marketism.” He argues that Hayek’s focus on “negative freedom” impoverishes the concept by denying the importance of the public realm, which can also be a spontaneous order, and within which issues not easily addressed within the market can be confronted. Focusing on environmental issues and the tensions between subjects within spontaneous orders and the orders themselves, the author urges a less ideological and more subtle approach in making use of the concept.

Dobuzinskis, Laurent. The Self-Organizing Polity: An Epistemological Analysis of Political Life, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1987.

Dobuzinskis’ pioneering work explores political self-organization at a more abstract level than other works in this section. He argues that political systems as a whole, and not just democracies, are maintained through dynamic equilibrating processes enabling them to both maintain autonomy from other societal processes and adapt to challenges generated within and by them.

Frey, Bruno S. A Utopia? Government without Territorial Monopoly, Independent Review. V:1, Summer, 2001. 99-112.

Frey questions the notion that governments necessarily have territorial monopolies. Federal states where several governments share the same territory are evidence this is not so, as are other institutions he describes. He develops a FOCJ model of functional, overlapping, competing, jurisdictions, thereby creating a political equivalent to a market for citizens who have some powers to exit without moving as well as choosing officials in all relevant units. Frey gives historical examples of such approaches working effectively. American and Swiss federalism are examined for what they can teach in this area. To access link to: http://www.independent.org/tii/content/pubs/review/tir61_frey.html

* Hayek, F. A. Law, Legislation and Liberty, 3 volumes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973, 1976, 1979. 479 pp.

Hayek’s last work completed entirely by him. This treatise on political and social theory is intended by him to supplement the analysis in Constitution of Liberty and is the most complete analysis by him that specifically incorporates his concept of spontaneous order as its unifying theme.

Hayek, F. A. The Constitution of Liberty, Chicago: University of Chicago, 1960. 531 pp.

Hayek’s most complete work of social, legal, and political theory. In terms of spontaneous order theory, the concept is primarily latent, in contrast to Law, Legislation and Liberty. However, the book as a whole is an attack on the ideal that experts of any sort can be relied upon safely to order complex human relations b y overriding the judgments and freedom of others.

Heclo, Hugh. Issue Networks and the Executive Establishment, The New American Political System, Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1978. pp 87-124.

Heclo’s classic essay describes the progressive dissolution of organized groups of interests dominating policy within “iron triangles” into “issue networks” which are open to influence from potentially any interested party. Illustrates a shift from looking at democratic politics in terms of the power of specific groups to a process where boundaries are open and power difficult to pinpoint.

* Jacobs, Jane. Cities and the Wealth of Nations, New York: Random House, 1984. 244 pp.

In the absence of political boundaries brought about by force of arms or its threat, cities are the “natural” units of modern human societies. They develop spontaneously, and as they do gradually transform their surroundings into complex webs of social cooperation far beyond urban boundaries, unless exploited by centralized political authority.

* Kingdon, John. Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies. 2nd. ed., New York: Longman, 1995. 244 pp.

Kingdon’s study of how issues arrive on the public agenda offers a careful study of the democratic discovery process. Case studies illustrate the processes he describes. While unaware of the similarities of the process he describes to spontaneous order models, Kingdon ultimately uses the term “ordered anarchy” to describe the process he analyses.

Lindblom, Charles. The Science of Muddling Through, Public Administration Review, 14, Spring, 1959, pp. 79-88.

Lindblom’s classic paper develops his model of “partisan mutual adjustment” which is remarkably similar to the Austrian theory of entrepreneurship as developed by Israel Kirzner. Lindblom describes a process of continual partial adaptation on the part of public agencies.

Ostrom, Vincent. The Meaning of American Federalism: Constituting a Self-Governing Society. San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1991. 277 pp.

Ostrom offers a wide ranging analysis, from Tocqueville and Hobbes through the development of the contemporary American system. Of particular interest to this list is his chapter 9: “Polycentricity: The Structural Bias of Self-Governing Systems” (pp. 223-248). Ostrom uses self-governing and self-organizing more interchangeably than do other authors cited in this section.

Page, Benjamin I. and Robert Y. Shapiro. The Rational Public: Fifty Years of Trends in Americans’ Policy Preferences, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Opinion polls demonstrate that most citizens know very little about politics. Nevertheless, Page and Shapiro argue that public opinion is more rational than the views of individual members of the public, and the record of American government in responding to public opinion is quite strong, without the public necessarily being aware of this responsiveness. A strong study of rational order arising without deliberate planning.

Titles not yet annotated:

Wohlgemuth, Michael. Democracy and Opinion Falsification: Towards a New Austrian Political Economy, Constitutional Political Economy, Vol.13(3), Summer, 2002. 223-246

Wohlgemuth, Michael. Economic and Political Competition in Neoclassical and Evolutionary Perspective, Constitutional Political Economy, 6:1, Winter, 1995. 71-96.

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