Advertisement

The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 55–78 | Cite as

From contract to mental model: Constitutional culture as a fact of the social sciences

  • Nikolai WenzelEmail author
Article

Abstract

This paper develops the concept of constitutional culture—the attitude, thoughts, and feelings about constitutional constraints and the nature, scope, and function of constitutionalism. Constitutional culture is approached as a complex emergent phenomenon bridging Hayekian cognitive and institutional insights. It can be studied as a mental model, a series of expectations and understandings about the constitutional order, how it is, and how it ought to be. The “map” and “model” approach from Hayek’s Sensory Order (1952) is employed to understand how individuals and (cautiously) groups of individuals at the national level approach constitutionalism. This paper goes beyond the more traditional one-size-fits-all approach where all individuals respond uniformly to incentives, as provided by the constitution qua contract. Instead, constitutionalism is tied up in the individual’s vision of the world, that is, what Hayek (1948) labels “the facts of the social sciences.” The paper concludes with four areas where constitutional culture can further the insights of constitutional political economy: comparative political economy, constitutional stickiness, constitutional maintenance, and the new development economics.

Keywords

Constitutional culture Mental models Constitutional political economy Constitutional maintenance Informal institutions 

JEL Classifications

B52 B53 F59 043 P48 Z13 

Notes

Acknowledgements

For the discussion and comments, many thanks to Richard Wagner, Peter Boettke, Dragos Aligica, Don Boudreaux, David Levy, Mark Patton, Jim Loveland, Eduardo Stordeur, Bill Butos, participants at the 2008 meeting of the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, the Henry C. Simons Circle, and an anonymous referee. Thanks also to George Mount for the research assistance. Financial support from the H.B. Earhart Foundation, the Hayek Fund at the Institute for Humane Studies, and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is gratefully acknowledged. The usual disclaimer applies.

References

  1. Almond, G., & Verba, S. (1965). The Civic Culture. Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations and Analytic Survey. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  2. Barro, R., & McCleary, R. (2003). Religion and economic growth. NBER Working Paper No. 96821.Google Scholar
  3. Baumol, W. (1990). Entrepreneurship: productive, unproductive and destructive. Journal of Political Economy, 98(5 Part 1), 893–921.Google Scholar
  4. Boettke, P. (1998). Is there an intellectual market niche for Austrian economics? Review of Austrian Economics, 11, 1–4.Google Scholar
  5. Boettke, P. (2008). The most important book on the most important topic of our day: a review of after war: the political economy of exporting democracy, by Christopher J. Coyne. Economic Affairs, June 2008, 70–72.Google Scholar
  6. Boettke, P. (2009). Eric L. Jones, Cultures Merging: A Historical and Economic Critique of Culture. Book review. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 57(2), 434–437.Google Scholar
  7. Boettke, P., & Coyne, C. (2003). Entrepreneurship and development: cause or consequence? Advances in Austrian Economics, 6, 67–88.Google Scholar
  8. Boettke, P., & Subrick, J. R. (2002). From the philosophy of mind to the philosophy of the market. Journal of Economic Methodology, 9, 1, 53–64.Google Scholar
  9. Boettke, P., Coyne, C., & Leeson, P. (2008). Institutional stickiness and the new development economics. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 67(2), 331–358.Google Scholar
  10. Böhm, S. (1994). Hayek and knowledge: some question marks. In M. Colonna, H. Hagemann, & O. Hamouda (Eds.), Capitalism, socialism and knowledge: the economics of F.A. Hayek (vol. II). Brookfield, VT: Elgar.Google Scholar
  11. Boulding, K. (1974). Toward the development of cultural economics. Social Science Quarterly, 267–284.Google Scholar
  12. Brennan, G., & Buchanan, J. (1985). The reason of rules: constitutional political economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Buchanan, J. (1975). The limits of liberty—between anarchy and Leviathan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  14. Buchanan, J. (1979). What should economists do?. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.Google Scholar
  15. Buchanan, J. (1981). Constitutional restrictions on the power of government. In J. Buchanan, & R. D. Tollison (Eds.), The theory of public choice—II. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  16. Buchanan, J. (1990). The domain of constitutional economics. Constitutional Political Economy, 1(1), 1990Google Scholar
  17. Buchanan, J., & Tullock, G. (1962). The calculus of consent: logical foundations of constitutional democracy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  18. Burnham, W. (1982). The constitution—capitalism and the need for rationalized regulation. In R. Goldwin, & W. Schambra (Eds.), How capitalistic is the constitution (pp. 75–105). Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute.Google Scholar
  19. Butos, W., & Koppl, R. (1993). Hayekian expectations: theory and empirical applications. Constitutional Political Economy, 4(3).Google Scholar
  20. Butos, W., & McQuade, T. (2002). Mind, market and institutions: the knowledge problem in Hayek’s Thought. In J. Birner, P. Garrouste, & T. Aimar (Eds.), F.A. Hayek as a political economist. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Caldwell, B. (2004). Hayek’s challenge: an intellectual biography of F.A. Hayek. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  22. Caplan, B. (2003). The idea trap: the political economy of growth divergence. European Journal of Political Economy, 19, 183–203.Google Scholar
  23. Chamlee-Wright, E. (1997). The cultural foundations of economic development: urban female entrepreneurship in Ghana. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Coyne, C. (2008). After war: the political economy of exporting democracy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Coyne, C., & Leeson, P. (2004). The plight of underdeveloped countries. Cato Journal, 24(3), Fall 2004.Google Scholar
  26. De Soto, H. (2000). The mystery of capital: why capitalism triumphs in the west and fails everywhere else. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  27. Dorn, J., Hanke, S., & Walters, A. (eds.) (1998). The revolution in development economics. Washington, DC: Cato Institute.Google Scholar
  28. Duverger, M. (1998). Les Constitutions de la France. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  29. Elias, N. (1978[1939]). The civilizing process, volume I: the development of manners. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  30. Elias, N. (2001[1939]). The society of individuals. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  31. Elster, J. (2000). Ulysses unbound. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Epstein, L., Knight, J., & Shvetsova, O. (2001). The role of constitutional courts in the establishment and maintenance of democratic systems of government. Law and Society Review, 35(1), 117–163.Google Scholar
  33. Evans, A. (2007). Subjectivist social change: the influence of culture and ideas on economic policy. Working Paper, George Mason University.Google Scholar
  34. Ferejohn, J., Rakove, J., & Riley, J. (2001). Constitutional culture and democratic rule. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Ferguson, A. (1767). Essay on the history of civil society.Google Scholar
  36. Frank, R. (1992). Melding sociology and economics: James Coleman’s foundations of social theory. Journal of Economic Literature, 30(1), 147–170.Google Scholar
  37. Franklin, D. (1995). American political culture and constitutionalism. In Franklin and Baun (1995), pp. 43–55.Google Scholar
  38. Franklin, D., & Baun, M. (1995). Political culture and constitutionalism: a comparative approach. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  39. Friedman, L. (1975). The legal system: a social science perspective. Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  40. Fukuyama, F. (1995). Trust: the social virtues and the creation of prosperity. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  41. Gardbaum, S. (2001). The new commonwealth model of constitutionalism. American Journal of Comparative Law, 49(4), Fall 2001.Google Scholar
  42. Gibson, J., Caldeira, G., & Baird, V. (1998). On the legitimacy of national high courts. American Political Science Review, 92, 343–358.Google Scholar
  43. Gordon, S. (1976). The new contractarians. The Journal of Political Economy, 84(3), 573–590.Google Scholar
  44. Greif, A. (1994). Cultural beliefs and the organization of society: a historical and theoretical reflection on collectivist and individualist society. Journal of Political Economy.Google Scholar
  45. Gwartney, J., & Lawson, R. (2008). Economic freedom of the world: 2008 annual report. Vancouver: Fraser Institute.Google Scholar
  46. Gwyn, W. (1995). Political culture and constitutionalism in Britain. In Franklin and Baum (1995), pp. 13–42Google Scholar
  47. Haley, J. (1995). Judicial independence in Japan revisited. Law in Japan, 25(1).Google Scholar
  48. Hancock, G. (1992). Lords of poverty: the power, prestige, and corruption of the international aid business. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press.Google Scholar
  49. Hardin, R. (1988). Constitutional political economy—agreement on rules. British Journal of Political Science, 18(4), 513–530.Google Scholar
  50. Hardin, R. (1999). Liberalism, constitutionalism and democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Harper, D. (2002). Entrepreneurship and economic growth: an Austrian perspective. Lecture given at the Advanced Austrian Seminar, Foundation for Economic Education, Summer 2002.Google Scholar
  52. Harrison, L., & Huntington, S. (2000). Culture matters: how values shape human progress. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  53. Hayek, F. A. (1948). Individualism and economic order. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  54. Hayek, F. A. (1952). The sensory order: an inquiry into the foundations of theoretical psychology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  55. Hayek, F. A. (1960). The constitution of liberty. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  56. Hayek, F. A. (1967). Studies in philosophy, politics and economics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  57. Hayek, F. A. (1978). Dr Bernard Mandeville. In F. A. Hayek (Ed.), New Studies in philosophy, politics and economics and the history of ideas. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  58. Hayek, F. A. (1979 [1952]). The Counter-revolution of science. Studies in the abuse of reason. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.Google Scholar
  59. Hayek, F. A. (1979 [1973, 1976, 1979]). Law, legislation and liberty (vol. 1–3). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  60. Hayek, F. A. (1988). The fatal conceit: the errors of socialism. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  61. Hayek, F. A. (1992). The sensory order after 25 years. In W. Weimer, & D. Palermo (Eds.), Cognition and the symbolic processes. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  62. Holcombe, R. (1998). Entrepreneurship and economic growth. Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 1(2), 45–62. Summer.Google Scholar
  63. Holmes, K., Feulner, E., & O’Grady, M. (2008). Index of economic freedom, 2008. Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal.Google Scholar
  64. Horwitz, S. (2000). From the sensory order to the liberal order: Hayek’s non-rationalist liberalism. Review of Austrian Economics, 13, 23–40.Google Scholar
  65. Hume, D. (1958[1789]). A treatise on human nature. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Jensen, M., & Meckling, W. (1979). Rights and production functions: an application to labor-managed firms and co-determination. Journal of Business, 52, 469–506.Google Scholar
  67. Jones, E. (2006). Cultures merging: a historical and economic critique of culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Kahn, P. (1999). The cultural study of law. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  69. Keating, M., Louglin, J., & Deschouwer, K. (2003). Culture, institutions and economic development. Cheltenham: Elgar.Google Scholar
  70. Kirzner, I. (1973). Competition and entrepreneurship. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  71. Kirzner, I. (1997). Entrepreneurial discovery and the competitive market process: an Austrian approach. Journal of Economic Literature, 35(1), 60–85.Google Scholar
  72. Kelsen, H. (1942). Judicial review of legislation: a comparative study of the Austrian and the American constitution. Journal of Politics, 4, 183–200.Google Scholar
  73. Knack, S., & Keefer, P. (1997). Does social capital have an economic payoff? A cross-country comparison. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(4), 1251–1288.Google Scholar
  74. Knight, F. (1939). Ethics and economic reform I. The ethics of liberalism. Econometrica, New Series, 6(21), 1–29.Google Scholar
  75. La Porta, R., Lopez de Silanes, F., Shleifer, A., & Vishny, R. (1997). Trust in large organizations. The American Economic Review, Vol. 87, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Hundred and Fourth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association, May, pp. 333–338.Google Scholar
  76. Lal, D. (1997). The poverty of development economics (2nd ed.). London: Institute of Economic Affairs. Hobart Paperback No. 16.Google Scholar
  77. Lasalle, F. (1946[1862]). Que es una Constitucion?. Buenos Aires: Siglo 20.Google Scholar
  78. Lavoie, D., & Chamlee-Wright, E. (2000). Culture and enterprise. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  79. Lee, D. R., & McKenzie, R. B. (1987). Regulating government: a preface to constitutional economics. Lexington: D.C. Heath and Company.Google Scholar
  80. Lemieux, P. (1988). L’Anarcho-Capitalisme. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  81. Levinson, S. (1988). Constitutional faith. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  82. Lupu, I. (1990). When cultures collide. Review of Constitutional Cultures: The Mentality and Consequences of Judicial Review, by Robert F. Nagel. Harvard Law Review, 103, 951–963.Google Scholar
  83. Mandeville, B. (1998[1732]). The fable of the bees or private vices, public benefits, 2 vols. With a commentary critical, historical, and explanatory by F.B. Kaye. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.Google Scholar
  84. Mazzone, J. (2005). The creation of a constitutional culture. Tulsa Law Review, 40, 671.Google Scholar
  85. McQuade, T., & Butos, W. (2005). The sensory order and other adaptive classifying systems. Journal of Bioeconomics, 7, 335–358.Google Scholar
  86. Miles, M., Feulner, E., & O’Grady, M. (2005). 2005 index of economic freedom. Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal.Google Scholar
  87. Miller, E. (1979). The cognitive basis of Hayek’s thought. In R. Cunningham (Ed.), Liberty and the rule of law. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press.Google Scholar
  88. Moore, J. (2003). A few thoughts for discussion concerning government structures/constitutionalism for Iraq. Comments at the Federalist Society, Washington DC, Summer 2003.Google Scholar
  89. Namier, L. (1944). 1848: the revolution of the intellectuals. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  90. North, D. (1981). Structure and change in economic history. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  91. North, D. (1990). Institutions, institutional change, and economic performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  92. North, D. (1999). Understanding the process of economic change, occasional paper 106. London: The Institute of Economic Affairs.Google Scholar
  93. North, D. (2005). Understanding the process of economic change. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  94. North, D., & Weingast, B. (1989). Constitutions and commitment: the evolution of institutions governing public choice in seventeenth-century England. Journal of Economic History, 49, 803–832.Google Scholar
  95. Ostrom, V. (1984). Why governments fail: an inquiry into the use of instruments of evil to do good. In J. Buchanan, & R. D. Tollison (Eds.), The theory of public choice—II. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  96. Pejovich, S. (2003). Understanding the transaction costs of transition: it’s the culture, stupid. Forum Series on the Role of Institutions in Promoting Economic Growth, Directed by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and the IRIS Center, Washington, DC, April 4, 2003.Google Scholar
  97. Petroni, A. (2003). A constitution for the European Union? Lecture given at the XXVIth Summer University of the New Economy, Aix-en-Provence, September 2, 2003.Google Scholar
  98. Petroni, A. (2004). Perspectives for freedom of choice in bioethics and health care in Europe. Paper prepared for Liberty Fund, January 2004.Google Scholar
  99. Pippin, R. (1999). Modernism as a philosophical problem: on the dissatisfactions of European high culture. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  100. Putnam, R. (1978). The beliefs of politicians. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  101. Putnam, R. (1993). Making democracy work: civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  102. Rand, A. (1966). “The rights of man” in capitalism: the unknown ideal. New York: Signet.Google Scholar
  103. Rand, A. (1984). “Philosophy: who needs it” in philosophy: who needs it. New York: Signet.Google Scholar
  104. Resnick, M. (1997). Turtles, termites and traffic jams: explorations in massively parallel microworlds. Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar
  105. Rizzello, S. (1999). The economics of the mind. Cheltenham, UK: Elgar.Google Scholar
  106. Rosenberg, N. (1960a). Capital formation in underdeveloped countries. American Economic Review, 50(4), 706–715.Google Scholar
  107. Rosenberg, N. (1960b). Some institutional aspects of the wealth of nations. Journal of Political Economy, 68(6), 557–570.Google Scholar
  108. Rothbard, M. (1996[1973]). For a new liberty: the libertarian manifesto. New York: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  109. Rothbard, M. (1997). The logic of action I: method, money and the Austrian school. Lyme, US: Elgar.Google Scholar
  110. Santiago, A. (h) (2003). Conferencia para los 150 Años de la Constitucion Nacional. Revista de la Escuela de Sciencias Politicas de la Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Argentina, Santa Maria de los Buenos Aires, IX No. 14, 233 et seq.Google Scholar
  111. Sartori, G. (1965). Democratic theory. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  112. Schelling, T. (1978). Micromotives and macrobehavior. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  113. Scully, G. (1988). The institutional framework and economic development. Journal of Political Economy, 96(3), 652–662.Google Scholar
  114. Scully, G. (1992). Constitutional environments and economic growth. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  115. Siegan, B. (1994). Drafting a constitution for a nation or republic emerging into freedom. Fairfax: George Mason University Press.Google Scholar
  116. Skach, C. (2005). Borrowing constitutional designs: constitutional law in Weimar Germany and the French fifth republic. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  117. Smith, A. (1776). An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations.Google Scholar
  118. Smith, A. (1997[1759]). The theory of moral sentiments. Washington, DC: Regnery.Google Scholar
  119. Surowiecki, J. (2005). The wisdom of crowds. New York: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  120. Steele, G. R. (2002). Hayek’s sensory order. Theory & Psychology, 12, 387.Google Scholar
  121. Steele, G. R. (2004). Hayek’s sensory order. Ama-Gi (The Journal of the Hayek Society at LSE), 6(1), Lent Term 2004.Google Scholar
  122. Tilly, C. (2003). Stories, identities and political change. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  123. Voigt, S. (1996). Positive constitutional economics: a survey. Public Choice, 90, 11–53.Google Scholar
  124. von Mises, L. (1996[1949]). Human action, fourth revised edition. Irvington-on-Hudson: Foundation for Economic Education.Google Scholar
  125. von Mises, L. (2006[1919]). Nation, state and economy: contributions to the politics and history of our time. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.Google Scholar
  126. Weber, M. (1905). The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  127. Weimer, W. (1982). Hayek’s approach to the problem of complex phenomena: an introduction to the theoretical psychology of the sensory order. In W. Weimer, & D. Palermo (Eds.), Cognition and the symbolic processes. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  128. Weingast, B. (1995). The economic role of political institutions: market-preserving federalism and economic development. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 11, 1–31.Google Scholar
  129. Wenzel, N. (2007). Ideology, constitutional culture, and institutional change: the EU Constitution as reflection of Europe’s emergent postmodernism. Romanian Economic and Business Review, 2(3), Fall 2007.Google Scholar
  130. Wenzel, N. (2008a). Postmodernism and its discontents: whither constitutionalism after God and reason? New Perspectives on Political Economy, 4(2).Google Scholar
  131. Wenzel, N. (2008b). Postmodernism and religion. In P. Clarke (Ed.), Oxford handbook of sociology and religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  132. Wenzel, N. (2009). The sensory order and the social order: parallels between hayek’s cognitive and institutional theories. In The Social Science of Hayek’s “The Sensory Order”, W. Butos, Volume Editor; Advances in Austrian Economics, R. Koppl, Series Editor.Google Scholar
  133. Winchester, S. (1998). The professor and the madman. a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and Business AdministrationHillsdale CollegeHillsdaleUSA

Personalised recommendations