The work of Leopold Kohr has attracted attention from social scientists in the field of international political studies, but few political economists have studied his theoretical argument in detail. Few students have tried to unite economic and polit-ical arguments to understand his contribution in a more analytical way. We will argue that Kohr’s principal theory (diseconomies of scale) was inherently econom-ic, an attempt to elaborate on the concept of scale in a broader perspective and in a more complex way, including the idea of quality and, in particular, power rela-tions. In this paper, we try to make sense of Kohr’s idea of decentralisation by studying his contributions from a political economy perspective. Moreover, con-clusions will be drawn that relate Kohr’s view to present-day governance problems in the European Monetary Union, in which actual governance reflects all dangers that this scholar feared.
Keywords: Diseconomies of scale; optimal jurisdictions; proportionality; density costs; living standards; balancing of powers; decentralisation
Jel Code: B31, O21, P48, P51