The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 9-16

First online:

On the governance of “not being governed”

  • Benjamin PowellAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Suffolk University Email author 
  • , Malavika NairAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Suffolk University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The Art of Not Being Governed illustrates that the people of highland South East Asia were not primitive people “left behind” but instead chose their lifestyles in order to avoid the predation of lowland states. This raises the question of how these people who are ungoverned by nation states provide governance for themselves. We explore this question with two related case studies. One examines a nineteenth century Southern Indian banking caste that provided self-governance. The other examines modern-day stateless Somalia.


Statelessness Anarchy Polycentric governance

JEL Codes

P4 O1