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Legal polycentrism and contractarianism


Wiśniewski, Jakub Bożydar

Subject and Keywords:

legal polycentrism ; contractarianism ; public goods ; public choice ; conceptual unanimity ; institutional entrepreneurship


Od 2013 pt.: Ekonomia - Wroclaw Economic Review


According to the contractarian perspective, a public good can be thought of as not so much a goodthat meets the technical neoclassical criteria of non-rivalness and non-excludability, but as one thatis produced on a purely contractual basis, thus necessarily increasing the utility of all the involvedparties. In this paper, by critically examining Nozick’s “emergent” contractarianism and Buchanan’steleological contractarianism, I shall argue that no such contractual origin can be plausibly attributedto territorial monopolies of force, and that therefore legal monocentrism — the view that the publicgoods of law and defense can be provided exclusively by territorial monopolies of force — fails therelevant efficiency test as conceived on a contractarian basis. This, in turn, implies that legal polycentrism,one of whose constitutive features is precisely its unambiguously voluntary and contractualcharacter, should be considered as a superior system in this context

Place of publishing:



Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Date issued:



DOI: 10.19195/2084-4093.23.2.5


pol ; eng ; ger ; fre


Acta Universitatis Wratislaviensis, ISSN 0239-6661 ; no 3770. Ekonomia, ISSN 2084-4093 ; 23/2, s. 75-82

Is version of:

Czasopisma Naukowe w Sieci (CNS)

Rights holder:

© Copyright by Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego Sp. z o.o., Wrocław 2017

Autor opisu:

WR U/PAdjm