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Adam Smith: So what if the sovereign shares in ignorance?

Adam Smith: So what if the sovereign shares in ignorance? Unfortunately, Adam Smith’s undeserved legacy as a proponent of laissez-faire and liberal institutions at the international scope inhibits profiting from his refined analysis of international affairs. I argue that the Wealth of Nations’ chapter on colonies contains Smith’s discussion of the sovereign’s adaptation to ignorance in global politics. I examine the sense in which the sovereign is ignorant according to Smith and how sovereigns adapt to ignorance with varying success. His comparative analysis suggests that reduction of one’s share in ignorance is not always desirable, and a priori rejection of ignorance is impractical because it deprives of a potentially advantageous resource. A careful reading of his work enables learning from his approach to global politics, without filtering it through his ideas on the free market. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of International Political Theory SAGE

Adam Smith: So what if the sovereign shares in ignorance?

Journal of International Political Theory , Volume 14 (1): 21 – Feb 1, 2018

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References (76)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2017
ISSN
1755-0882
eISSN
1755-1722
DOI
10.1177/1755088217705893
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Unfortunately, Adam Smith’s undeserved legacy as a proponent of laissez-faire and liberal institutions at the international scope inhibits profiting from his refined analysis of international affairs. I argue that the Wealth of Nations’ chapter on colonies contains Smith’s discussion of the sovereign’s adaptation to ignorance in global politics. I examine the sense in which the sovereign is ignorant according to Smith and how sovereigns adapt to ignorance with varying success. His comparative analysis suggests that reduction of one’s share in ignorance is not always desirable, and a priori rejection of ignorance is impractical because it deprives of a potentially advantageous resource. A careful reading of his work enables learning from his approach to global politics, without filtering it through his ideas on the free market.

Journal

Journal of International Political TheorySAGE

Published: Feb 1, 2018

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