When Buchanan discusses the constitutional changes that members of society would agree to, he uses the status quo as the default. If no agreement occurs, we continue with the constitutional rules that are currently in place. This article argues that this choice results in an unjustified status quo bias. To make this point, I examine and challenge three possible arguments in favor of using the status quo as the default. Then, I give two arguments in favor of a form of contractarianism that does not use the status quo as a default.
Status quo James Buchanan Contractualism Normative analysis
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