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date: 23 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The purpose of this chapter is to take a closer look at the relation between the invisible hand paradigm that is at the heart of economists’ theoretical outlook at markets and its “visible hand” counterpart, the social contract paradigm as a theory of government. It is argued that in its generalized interpretation as an individualistic model of organized collective action the social contract paradigm consistently complements the invisible hand paradigm as an individualistic theory of spontaneous social order. What Hayek has referred to as “the two kinds of order,” spontaneous order and corporate order, can thus be accounted for within one coherent individualistic theoretical framework.

Keywords: collective action, constitutionalism, contractarianism, cooperation, invisible hand, social dilemmas, spontaneous order

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