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What is Spontaneous Order?

What is Spontaneous Order?Dr Daniel Luban, Junior Research Fellow in Politics, has just published an article in the American Political Science Review called “What is Spontaneous Order?”

The APSR is the most prestigious journal in the field, and it rarely publishes political theory. It’s a significant honour to have an article published in it, few tenured professors in political theory in America have an APSR publication.

The concept of “spontaneous order” has become increasingly influential as a justification for markets and critique of state intervention, especially owing to the work of Friedrich Hayek. According to this view, markets and other key social institutions are the unintended consequences of myriad individual actions, and such order is threatened by attempts at conscious social reform. Dr Luban’s article probes the internal logic of spontaneous order, arguing that it can be interpreted as meaning several different things. Yet he concludes that “none of these possibilities prove fully coherent or satisfactory, suggesting that the concept cannot bear the analytical weight that has been placed upon it.”

Dr Luban described how he feels about being published in such a prestigious publication: “It’s been gratifying to get such a positive response to the article. The subject matter hasn’t received much scholarly attention in general, and was certainly a new research area for me. So, I’m very grateful for the College’s support through the JRF, which enabled the period of sustained research and writing without which the article wouldn’t have been possible.”

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