The Concept of “State”

Kaushik Basu

in Prelude to Political Economy

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198296713
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191595943 | DOI:
 The Concept of “State”

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This chapter emphasizes the need for a more inclusive conception of government in the social sciences, particularly economics. The view of the state that emerges from the inclusive approach is a bundle of beliefs and expectations in the minds of people. The state, in the end, is nothing more tangible than the ordinary citizen’s belief that if he behaves a certain way, the agent of the state will either punish or reward him. This is coupled with the belief of the agents of the state that if a person behaves a certain way, they ought to punish or reward this person, and, if they do not, other will punish or reward them, and so on. These beliefs must be self-fulfilling since they result in an outcome that is a subgame perfect equilibrium.

Keywords: state; government; social sciences; economics; inclusive concept; perfect equilibrium

Chapter.  7216 words. 

Subjects: Microeconomics

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