October 11, 2011

Constitutions and Crisis

  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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Find the article at ScienceDirect.

A crisis is an unexpected event that creates uncertainty and poses a direct or perceived threat to the goals and norms of an organization or society. While crises are ubiquitous, how societies respond to crises, and the way crises affect societies, is largely a matter of constitutional political economy. Drawing on a variety of insights from James Buchanan's research, this paper develops the political economy of crisis. Focus is placed on understanding: (1) how existing rules influence how societies cope with crises, (2) how crises can affect rules, and (3) the potential for the reform of rules in the wake of crises.