Although most people believe that some form of government is necessary, until recently it was merely an assumption that had never been analyzed from an economic point of view. This changed in the 1970s when economists at the Center for the Study of Public Choice engaged in a systematic exploration of the issue. This stimulating collection, the first book-length treatment on the public choice theory of government, continues and extends the research program begun more than three decades ago. The book reprints the main articles from the 1972 volume Explorations in the Theory of Anarchy, and contains a response to each chapter, as well as new comments by Gordon Tullock, James Buchanan, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel and Peter Boettke. The younger economists are notably less pessimistic about markets and more pessimistic about government than their predecessors. Much of the new analysis suggests that private property rights and contracts can exist without government, and that even though problems exist, government does not seem to offer a solution. Might anarchy be the best choice after all? This provocative volume explores this issue in-depth and provides some interesting answers. Economists, political scientists, philosophers and lawyers interested in public choice, political economy and spontaneous order will find this series of essays illuminating.