Western Institution Building: The War, Hayek’s Cosmos and the WTO


Despite the shortcomings of Hayek’s spontaneous order, there is a positive side, perhaps even a positive feedback. Hayek left us with a “what if” question and returns us to that initial opening of Pandora’s Box, or perhaps the initial onset of neo-realism, neo-liberalism, developmentalism, globalism, transnationalism and other concepts, precepts and adjectives justifying institution building by bargaining and military force. In terms of new world order, institution building by necessity requires fundamental changes in governmental structures in non-western cultures and nation-states such as China, Afghanistan and Iraq. Such changes are being prompted by means of political, economic and military powers of the U.S. and other developed nation-states, and international intergovernmental organizations dominated by developed nation-states such as the World Trade Organization. Though arguably well intended there remains the question of what will eventually result from the introduction of western institutions into non-western cultures and developing countries. This article explores F. A. Hayek’s discourse concerning taxis and cosmos (Kosmos), in terms of institution building. This article addresses why China presents an instance of institution building by bargaining, while countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan offer instances of institution building by military force, then directs emphasis toward institutional and constitutional reform, and an evolution of western law in non-western cultures and developing nation-states such as China, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Although Hayek may have had contrary intentions, his discourse on taxis and cosmos (Kosmos), and spontaneous order, nonetheless, challenges a modern western world to rethink its priorities and policies, and perhaps even foundational ideologies, especially in the realm of rebuilding non-western cultures and developing countries.


Comparative and Foreign Law | Economics | International Law | International Trade Law | Jurisprudence | Law and Economics

Date of this Version

February 2005