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PrivatizationNOMOS LX$
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Jack Knight and Melissa Schwartzberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479842933

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479842933.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 24 February 2020

What Is Politics Without the State?

What Is Politics Without the State?

A Reply to Hadfield and Weingast

(p.276) 11 What Is Politics Without the State?

Alex Gourevitch

NYU Press

This chapter replies to Hadfield and Weingast, characterizing their model as a first, promising example of “Leninist game theory” – how a stateless utopia can nonetheless sustain the enforcement of the rule of law, the need for which in turn ultimately dissolves once exploitation and poverty are removed. Given the injustices of mass incarceration and racial subjection in the United States, a vision of reducing, if not eliminating, the coercive enforcement of law is attractive. Nonetheless, the author argues that the Hadfield-Weingast model actually provides a positive theory of dystopia. Rather than yielding an equilibrium of decentralized, private citizens enforcing laws that they rightly regard as commanding their obedience, the author holds that a more plausible equilibrium would provide for enforcement of the rule of law to secure dominant interests against a subject population without such enforcement powers. Insofar as Athens constitutes an example, it is as an unjust hierarchy rather than a democratic ideal: one in which rule of law prevails among citizens on the backs of slaves..

Keywords:   Privatization, Enforcement, Equilibrium, Slavery, Classical Athens, Lenin

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