chapter  13
24 Pages

Legitimacy and Comparative Advantages

The idea that legitimacy is a source o f success in the competitive world

environment is a central thesis o f this book. In chapter 3 we advanced our

theoretical perspective on the competition between social orders, i.e., the

world market for protection, which functions as the central mechanism

through which more legitimate orders are rewarded with success and less

legitimate orders are punished and fall behind. This competition, based on

the quality o f order and decisive for economic success, is the central means

o f selection and supports convergence in the shaping o f core societies. The

rise and decline o f nations thus each depend upon political decisions, which

create societal models and their specific arrangements (cf. Olson 1982, and

Kennedy 1987, for alternative explanations).