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Book part
Publication date: 3 December 2018

Nick Cowen

Robust political economy (RPE) is a research program that combines insights from Austrian economics and public choice to evaluate the performance of institutions in cases…

Abstract

Robust political economy (RPE) is a research program that combines insights from Austrian economics and public choice to evaluate the performance of institutions in cases of limited knowledge and limited altruism, or “worst-case scenarios.” Many critics of RPE argue that it is too narrowly focused on the bad motivations and inadequacies of social actors while smuggling in classical liberal normative commitments as part of a purported solution to these problems. This chapter takes a different tack by highlighting the ways that RPE as currently understood may not be robust against particularly bad conduct. It suggests that depending on the parameters of what constitutes a worst-case scenario, classical liberal institutions, especially a minimal state, may turn out to be less robust than some conservative or social democratic alternatives.

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Austrian Economics: The Next Generation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-577-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2000

Ulrich Thielemann

The philosophical reflection on the essence of what we call the market has largely disappeared from the textbooks of the economic discipline. This paper intends to…

Abstract

The philosophical reflection on the essence of what we call the market has largely disappeared from the textbooks of the economic discipline. This paper intends to contribute to a renewal of this discourse by explicitly looking on basic concepts of mainstream market theory from an ethical point of view. There is not so much new information given; rather, a different, ethically conscious light is shed on the information we already have on the market. With its philosophical emphasis on the frame of reference, which is always normative in nature, the paper contributes to the new emerging approach of integrative economic ethics (integrative Wirtschaftsethik), introduced by Peter Ulrich. After touching the interrelationship of (descriptive) theory and (normative) ethics, the outlines of a brief and, as I claim, complete theory of the basic structure of the market are sketched. Central to this theory is the view of the market as a system. This systemic view permits us to explain phenomena like economic growth or unemployment as well as to discover ethical problems and to raise normative questions that are often overlooked and passed over.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1997

Sheldon Wein

Explores the prospects for constructing a feminist contractarian moral theory. Argues that the social contractarianism championed by John Rawls and feminized by Susan Okin…

Abstract

Explores the prospects for constructing a feminist contractarian moral theory. Argues that the social contractarianism championed by John Rawls and feminized by Susan Okin is unlikely to succeed in offering feminists an alternative theory of justice which can compete with utilitarianism. However, an appropriately modified economic contractarianism, such as that championed by David Gauthier, offers more promise for producing a successful liberal feminist theory of justice. Holds that a feminist ethic of care based on an economic contractarian model must move from an exclusive concern with game‐theoretic bargaining to solve prisoners’ dilemma problems to a bargaining game which also deals with the assurance problem. Offers speculation of how such a theory could be rigorously developed.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 24 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1994

Sheldon Wein

Justice requires that public institutions treat each person as an equal. A complete theory of justice should provide an account of those principles which both best…

Abstract

Justice requires that public institutions treat each person as an equal. A complete theory of justice should provide an account of those principles which both best organize and defend our various sentiments about justice and tell us which institutional arrangements and public policies will, in a given set of circumstances, best serve to ensure that our society is or becomes a just one. In the pluralistic liberal democracies of developed western societies we all accept the notion that governments, if they are to be just governments, must not play favorites. Governments have a duty to treat each person with equal concern and respect, or as a free and equal moral person, and to organize their activities so that, so far as possible, they are neutral between various competing conceptions of how one ought to live one's life. In accepting this we all agree that political discourse is to be limited to those options which can be seriously defended from an egalitarian plateau. We reject any position which can be shown to count some for more than one, or others for less than one. This agreed upon egalitarian plateau has come to be called the neutrality principle.

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Humanomics, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

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