Moral Community and Moral Order
Developing Buchanan’s Multilevel Social Contract Theory
This work aligns James Buchanan’s theory of social contract with the structure of Michael Moehler’s multilevel social contract. Most importantly, this work develops Buchanan’s notions of moral community and moral order. It identifies moral community as the vehicle of escape from moral anarchy, where community is established upon a system of rules akin to James Buchanan’s first-stage social contract. Moral order establishes the baseline treatment of non-members by members of a moral community and also provides a minimum standard for resolving disputes that are not resolved by the more robust social contract shared among community members. This work links the multilevel contract to polycentric social order, noting that polycentric systems may promote development of the moral order by enabling experimentation with and emulation of rules and rule systems made available by overlapping and adjacent institutions.