Since Garrett Hardin published The Tragedy of the Commons in 1968, critics have argued that population growth and capitalism contribute to overuse of natural resources and degradation of the global environment. They propose coercive, state-centric solutions. This book offers an alternative view. Employing insights from new institutional economics, the authors argue that property rights, competitive markets, polycentric political institutions, and social institutions such as trust, patience and individualism enable society to conserve natural resources and mitigate harms to the global environment.
Territorial political organisation forms the backbone of western liberal democracies. However, political economists are increasingly aware of how this form of government neglects the preferences of citizens, resulting in dramatic conflicts. The Political Economy of Non-Territorial Exit explores the theoretical possibility of ‘unbundling’ government functions and decentralising territorial governance.