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A Pagan's Blog


The Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Orders at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation is seeking papers exploring the theme
for its Second Conference on Emergent Order and Society
Selected papers will be presented at a conference to be held in Portsmouth, NH, November 1-4, 2008. After author revisions/responses, the papers will be published in our new, open source online journal, Studies in Emergent Order. The site is presently under construction.
We urge all scholars interested in exploring how emergent order analysis can contribute to our understanding of the social world to consider submitting a proposal. We seek original work in four basic areas:
1. Exploring the relations between emergent (spontaneous) orders and the instrumental organizations within them. For example, the relationship of corporations to the market, political parties to democracies, or schools of thought to science. To what degree are they benign, mutually beneficial, or conflicting?
2. Exploring issues involving the intersection and overlapping of different emergent order processes. For example, how do science and the market influence one another? How do science and democracy influence one another? To what extent can these influences be regarded as beneficial, neutral, or disruptive?
3. Exploring organizations that straddle the borders of different emergent orders. For example, the mass media must be both economically viable by serving consumers and also able to inform citizens in a democracy. A fishery must be economically viable and maintain its ecological sustainability. Different emergent processes are coordinated by different rules biased towards different values. How do they interact?
4. Exploring issues involving the borders of disciplines studying emergent phenomena. The distinction between emergent orders and instrumental organizations arose independently of disciplinary boundaries and a theoretical approach making use of it cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Thus much work in economics, anthropology, ecology, philosophy and sociology of science, and political science independently discovers and explores similar territory without benefiting from similar work elsewhere. How might we develop a paradigm of study that integrates these boundaries?
Acceptable papers may be either case studies or more general theoretical explorations.
We invite those unfamiliar with the first conference to examine papers prepared for that gathering. You can view them at
The password for access to the wiki site is: halcyon07
A description of the work of the Fund may be found on the Atlas website under the listing “Academic Programs” at

Submission Guidelines and Procedures
Paper proposals should be submitted by April 30, 2008. The proposal should describe the anticipated argument and how it relates to at least one of the conference themes. Proposals should be no more than two pages double spaced, not including an optional bibliography of works the author anticipates discussing. Submit to
The Fund will select a maximum of 12 papers for inclusion in its conference, and will notify their authors by May 30, 2008. Final papers must be submitted to the Fund by September 1, 2008 in order to ensure conference participants adequate time to read them in advance. The Fund will pay those authors whose work is accepted a total of $2,000 for their paper, initial publication rights, and for their full participation in the conference, (plus room and board at the conference, and travel expenses, up to the equivalent of a roundtrip coach airfare from their location to the conference site). The Fund’s decision on the papers selected for the conference is final. Other support may be forth-coming for some of the other papers submitted, but no such support is guaranteed.

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