The term market universalism refers to the non-metaphorical use of the word market to describe various non-market arrangements or processes in the real world. It is shown that the terms ‘market for ideas’ and ‘political markets’ (and close variants) have risen dramatically in usage since the 1960s. The chapter distinguishes between metaphorical and non-metaphorical uses of market terminology. The focus is on cases where something that is not literally a market is non-metaphorically described as such. A number of minimal features of a market are specified. It is established that there is not generally a ‘market for ideas’ and ‘political markets’ are limited or illegal. The ‘market for laws’ is similarly criticised. Market universalism impoverishes the concept of a market. The importance of blocking markets from some spheres of human activity is also neglected. The theoretical and practical importance of missing markets is also overlooked.
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