DP16695 Without liberty and justice, what extremes to expect? Two contemporary perspectives

Author(s): Marcus Miller, Ben Zissimos
Publication Date: November 2021
Keyword(s): Anarchy, Competing Species, Despotism, liberty, Neofeudalism, repeated games, Social Contracts
JEL(s): C70, C73, P00, Z13
Programme Areas: Political Economy
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16695

From a wide-ranging historical survey, Acemoglu and Robinson conclude that the preservation of liberty depends on being in a 'narrow corridor' where there is a balance of power between the state and society. We first examine the support Binmore's game-theoretic treatment of Social Contracts provides for such a 'narrow corridor' of liberty and justice â?? and what extremes to expect without them. We also consider how the biological model of Competing Species helps to describe the dynamics of conflicting powers outside the narrow corridorâ?? where, as in contemporary Russia and China, any Social Contracts that exist are neither free nor fair.