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Property, Power and PoliticsWhy We Need to Rethink the World Power System$
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Jean-Philippe Robé

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529213164

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529213164.001.0001

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General Introduction

General Introduction

(p.1) General Introduction
Property, Power and Politics

Jean-Philippe Robé

Policy Press

Most of the intellectual production in the social sciences is the outcome of an implicit assumption that we are still living in a State System when in fact the globalization of the economy is reducing the States’ ability to adopt proper rules to address societal issues. To understand this state of affairs, it is important to understand the role played by property in the operation of the liberal Power System. Property is a right of autonomy constitutionally protected. Its justification can be found either in the defence of the individual’s autonomy or via efficiency considerations. The fact is, however, that a sizable proportion of productive property today is concentrated in large, corporate organizations. The exploitation of the possibilities offered by an international open economy to these organizations has led to the production of potentially deadly negative externalities such as climate change, unbearable inequalities and the impoverishment of public institutions. The development of these large organizations has induced changes in the operation of the Power System. They must be understood to identify the existing potential means of action, in particular via proper rules of accounting for the impact of their activities.

Keywords:   Social sciences, Globalization, State System, Property, Autonomy, Efficiency, Negative externalities, Climate change, Inequality, Rules of accounting

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