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On the problem of scale: Spinozistic sovereignty as the logical foundation of constitutional economics

Benjamen F. Gussen ()
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Benjamen F. Gussen: University of Auckland

The Journal of Philosophical Economics, 2013, vol. 7, issue 1

Abstract: This paper argues that sovereignty, as envisaged by Spinoza, is the logical foundation of constitutional economics. Constitutional constructs such as sovereignty weave an evolutionary dialectic between different organizational scales (the local, national, and global). This dialectic continues to wreak havoc at the local scale, and can be interrupted only through explicit constitutional constraints on the size of jurisdictions. The paper argues for more emphasis on constitutional orders in the spirit of Spinoza’s understanding of sovereignty. This entails preference for federal polities in which sovereignty is shared between different cities rather states where once capital cities dominate.

Keywords: constitutional economics; sovereignty; Spinoza (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H79 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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