Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Brocker I 476
Communicative action/joint action/Olson: 1. Thesis: The common interest in a good does not necessarily lead to joint action for the production of this good. It does not follow from the fact that groups are composed of rational individuals that these groups behave according to their senses. (1) Instead, individuals aim for their personal advantage.
Def Group/Macur: a set of actors who share a common interest. (2) Members may also have their own particular interests. A group is interested in the production of a collective good.
Def Collective goods/Olson: "A common, collective or public good is defined here as any good that cannot practically be withheld from the other persons in a group if any person Xi in a group X1,...Xi,...Xn consumes it" (3). See Social Goods.
Collective goods are therefore defined with regard to a group of actors.
Brocker I 478
Free-rider problem: "Although all members of the group have a common interest in obtaining this collective advantage, they have no common interest in bearing the costs of procuring this collective good. Everyone would prefer to let the others bear the entire cost. (4)
Brocker I 479
2. Thesis: It is easier for small and/or privileged groups to provide public goods than large and/or latent groups.


1. Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Cambridge, Mass. 1965. Dt.: Mancur Olson, Die Logik des kollektiven Handelns: Kollektivgüter und die Theorie der Gruppen, Tübingen 1998 (zuerst 1968)., p. 2
2. Ibid. p. 7
3. Ibid. p. 13
4. Ibid. p. 20

Johannes Marx, „Mancur Olson, Die Logik des kollektiven Handelns“, in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

EconOlson I
Mancur Olson
The logic of collective action: Public goods and the theory of groups Cambridge 1965

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-05-19
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