April 16, 2009

Violence And Social Orders: Book Launch And Reception Part 1

Douglass North

Department of Economics, Washington University in St. Louis

John Wallis

Barry Weingast

Ward C. Krebs Family Professor, Department of Political Science, Stanford University

John Nye

Frederic Bastiat Chair in Political Economy, Mercatus Center

The Social Change Project at the Mercatus Center was honored to congratulate Nobel laureate economist Douglass North and his co-authors, John J. Wallis and Barry Weingast, on the publication of their latest book, Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Recorded Human History (Cambridge University Press, 2009). A lecture panel featuring the three authors and moderated by Professor John Nye, was followed by a reception.

The book integrates the problem of violence into a larger social science and historical framework, showing how economic and political behaviors are closely linked. It compares "natural" to "modern" states and provides a framework for understanding the two types of social orders, why modern states are both politically and economically more developed, and how some 25 countries have made the transition between the two types.