By Steven Pressman (eds.)
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Additional resources for Alternative Theories of the State
However, many institutional economists, for example Commons (1950), see institutional economics as concerned with collective action of various types. One area where the institutionalist approach to the state needs extension is in determining the appropriateness of government problem solving versus other forms of collective action. This question should not be conceived of in terms of a public-private dualism. The long, sordid history of political corruption at every level of government in the US argues forcefully for considering nongovernmental collective action.
The resulting behaviors emerge from the unique history of each governmental structure. However some generalizations can be made. Each governmental structure making up a state at any particular time is the result of some initial discretionary act or choice of some group of people delegated to make the decisions necessary to build the social structure. Thus each governmental structure constitutes a particular historical case of institutional building. Government structures evolve over time. They acquire additional responsibilities, change the way they act with regard to existing responsibilities, and may even abandon some old responsibilities.
K. (1996) The Good Society: The Humane Agenda, Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Nozick, R. (1974) Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Polanyi, K. (1944) The Great Transformation, Boston: Beacon Press. Rawls, J. (1971) A Theory of Justice, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Solo, R. (1982) The Positive State, Cincinnati: South-Western Publishing. R. (1996) John Kenneth Galbraith, New York: St. Martins Press. R. (2000) Value Theory and Economic Progress: The Institutional Economics ofj.