"WE ARE NOT DIRECTLY INTERESTED IN WHAT THE STATE OF A STATE ACTUALLY IS, BUT PROPOSE TO DEFINE QUITE SPECIFICALLY… WHAT WE THINK A STATE OUGHT TO BE": FIRST EDITION OF THE CALCULUS OF CONSENT
BUCHANAN, James M. and TULLOCK, Gordon. The Calculus of Consent. Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, (1962). Octavo, original gray cloth, original dust jacket. $6200.
First edition of this cornerstone of 20th-century economics and political theory, focusing on the concept of "public choice" in government.
The Calculus of Consent "is one among a handful of contributions to public choice that can truly be called a classic. It was one of the building blocks laying the foundation for what would become an immense research program falling under the heading of public choice… Perhaps the most important and lasting contribution of the book… is the introduction of a two-stage process for collective decision-making. In the first, the constitutional stage, the rules of the political game are chosen. In the second, the post-constitutional stage, the 'in-period' political game plays out" (Mueller, "James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock, and 'The Calculus'"). "A watershed moment in the emergence of public choice theory and, more specifically, the constitutional political economy research program. Over the last 50 years, the book has had a remarkable impact not only in economics but also in the neighboring social sciences, philosophy, and law" (Vanberg & Vanberg, "Towards a (re-)integration of the social sciences: The Calculus of Consent at 50").
Book with slight foxing to edges of text block and endpapers, dust jacket with scratch to front panel, light foxing to flaps. and minor wear mainly to extremities. A desirable, extremely good copy, quite scarce in this condition.