The theory of spontaneous order conceptualises and explains a number of institutional and social phenomena that are not an intended effect of either individual decisions or a collective consensus but an unplanned outcome of interactions between people pursuing their own aims. Drawing on these insights, this book demonstrates the utility of the theory of spontaneous order in explaining many phenomena in political economy and political science.
The book opens with a discussion of the history and development of the theory of spontaneous order, particularly in economics and the Austrian School. The epistemological premises of the theory are then explored including the formulation of the central idea of social individualism. Demonstrating the potential applications of the theory of spontaneous order to politics, core ideas are examined including democracy, fragile states and the concept of the veil of ignorance. Finally, the limitations and constraints of the theory of spontaneous order are also reviewed and discussed.
This book marks a valuable contribution to the literature on political economy, political science, public choice and political philosophy.
Table of Contents
Part I: The idea of spontaneous order in the history of the social sciences
1. The idea of spontaneous order in reflection on the nature of the social world
2. History of the idea of spontaneous order
Part II: The theory of spontaneous order
3. Epistemological foundations of the theory of spontaneous order
4. Spontaneous order
Part III: Application of the theory of spontaneous order in political science
5. Political science and the theory of spontaneous order
6. The theory of spontaneous order versus public choice theory
7. Limits of planning
8. Fragile states
Part IV: Criticism and limitations of the theory of spontaneous order
9. Limitations of the theory of spontaneous order
10. The structure of human cognition
Piotr Szafruga holds a PhD in political science from the Institute of Political Science and International Relations of the Jagiellonian University, Poland.