The ‘minimal’ state reconsidered: governance on the margin

J. R. Clark, Benjamin Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Classical liberal scholars have defined a “minimal state” as performing certain basic functions that include the provision of policing, courts, and national defense. We argue that these functions need not be fully provided by the state. Private provision of all three of these functions exists. Thus a truly minimal state would provide these functions only on the margins where private provision fails. Thus, a truly minimal state is much more minimal than scholars have traditionally envisioned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalReview of Austrian Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019


  • Minimal state
  • Private provision of public goods
  • Taxation
  • Welfare


Dive into the research topics of 'The ‘minimal’ state reconsidered: governance on the margin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this