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How Does the Constitution Mitigate Collective Action Problems - Essay Example

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This essay explores this field of collective action, its problems such as coordination, disagreement, defection or instability, free riding and alternatives or prisoners dilemma, how the same are mitigated by the Constitution and the particular role of the Constitution…
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How Does the Constitution Mitigate Collective Action Problems
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Download file to see previous pages The essay "How Does the Constitution Mitigate Collective Action Problems?" talks about the aspects of collective action in terms of Constitution of the United States of America.
The most basic question then is ‘what is collective action’. The foremost treatise on the subject is the Logic of Collective action by Mancur j Olsen. Olsen studies the notion of a group, he examines that individuals form groups or organizations with common interests. These groups or organizations are formed to promote and advance the common interests or work for the well-being and benefit of the members of the organization and this action is called the collective action. The union strives to get between wages, working conditions etc for its members.
In modern democracies, the government is a group which performs a collective action - made up of elected representatives; it strives to work for the well-being and to promote the interests of the public.
The government provides healthcare, free education, infrastructure, defense and other civil liberties for the well-being of its citizens. The basis of collective action is an input made by members towards an organization which then promotes the common interests of all the members of the same. This implies that, as far as possible, persons must contribute to the organization to avail of the promotion of their interests. However, this is not always the case. Problems arise with the collective action model because individuals by their very nature do not agree on the common interests....
Coordination ii. Disagreement iii. Defection/Instability iv. Free Riding v. Alternatives/Prisoners Dilemma The most important of these are the problems of Free Riding and Prisoners Dilemma. In certain organisations, individuals do not contribute for the benefits they enjoy. This is the problem of Free Riding. Such a problem can be seen clearly in the case of ‘Public Goods’. Economists use the term public goods to refer to goods provided by a government on the basis of taxation and not prices. These are goods, the enjoyment of which by one person does not diminish the enjoyment of another enjoying the same goods, For example, where two people look at a work of art, one person enjoyment has no relevance to the others; however the work of art is available to be enjoyed by all. This is in contrast to private goods where an owner of such good can prevent others from using it. Individuals in these groups’ feel that the benefit to them is too negligible and disregard the benefit of such a good to others, thereby refusing to contribute, thee ride free; enjoy the benefits based on the contribution of other members . For example as in the cases of environmental pollution, where all individuals by polluting less can protect all from harmful rays of the sun. However, if an individual feels that pollution is of no importance and the benefit to him is minimal, he will be a free rider on the contributions of others. An individual in a group may pursue an activity that rewards him individually rather than pursuing the interests of the group which causes the problem of prisoner’s dilemma. III. The Role of the Constitution Article 1 section 8: The federation of states that make up the United States of America are bodies which all work ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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