From the Firm to Economic Integration
New Thinking in Political Economy series
In any society, in any group of human beings, there is a fundamental problem to be solved: All individuals are different, one from the other – they have different capacities, different goals – and this is a great justification for having an individualistic approach to social and economic problems. But human beings are also social beings and they need links with others in order to fully live or even to survive. But, given their basic differences, how is it possible that a society gets coherence (that is be respectful of individual characteristics) and, meanwhile, makes it possible for individuals to live together and to benefit from their links with others? There is certainly a need for coordination or cooperation between them, but what does it imply? Constructivists are inclined to consider that a centralized process of organization is necessary, whereas others consider that – according to the famous analysis of Friedrich Hayek – a spontaneous order is possible and desirable. In the present book, we explore various aspects of this problem. The need for coordination or cooperation exists at the level of a business or firm as well as at a broader scale, that of a country or the world, and we are exploring the processes that make these all possible.