Governance without a state? Policies and politics
in areas of limited statehood meets positive political
economy of anarchy: A review essay
Published online: 7 December 2012
Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012
JEL Classification O17
The contributors to Governance Without a State? (Risse 2011) examine governance in
areas where states are absent, too weak, or unwilling to provide “governance by
government” (p. 9).
Governance as understood by the editor of the volume, Thomas
Risse, stands for “institutionalized modes of social coordination to produce and implement
collectively binding rules, or to provide collective goods” (p. 9). Following the introduc-
tion by the editor, nine chapters explore various aspects of governance in situations where
social cooperation does not take place in the shadow of a modern western democratic
nation-state. As Risse highlights (p. 2), today and historically the modern nation-state of
the western democratic variety has been the exception rather than the rule. To date, the vast
majority of humans have not lived their lives in western-style democratic states. The
present volume is highly relevant for social scientists who are interested in understanding
social phenomena under such alternative institutional circumstances.
My goal for this essay is to provide an overview of Governance Without a State?
by relating its contributions to works in the economics literature. The contributors to
Governance Without a State? take the existence of areas of limited statehood as a
starting point (p. 9) and analyze forms of governance observable under these circum-
stances. Contributions to a parallel research program, which Boettke (2005, 2011)
Rev Austrian Econ (2015) 28:93–105
References that only include page numbers throughout the essay refer to contributions to Governance
without a State?
Department of Economics, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
A. Fink (*)
Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik, University of Leipzig, Grimmaische Str. 12, 04109 Leipzig, Germany