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Shawn Humphrey

In: 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 78: Political Economy of Violence

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Political Economy of Violence
Political economy of violence

Long-term economic prosperity requires the existence of secure property rights. A resource, in the possession of an individual, can be characterized as secure property if that individual can exclude others from exploiting its use. So, as the fundamental instrument of exclusion, who should have recourse to violence? In a world where violence is a recognized margin of competitive adjustment available to all community members, a world of unorganized violence, an individual's exclusive right to use a resource is determined in large part by his or her ability to use naked violence to protect that resource from others. This fact creates an incentive for all community members to allocate scarce effort away from production and toward protection and/or predating ...

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