In The Economics of Rights, Co-operation and Welfare, Robert Sugden sets out to answer a question that lies at the heart of economics and politics: how can individuals coordinate their behaviour in the absence of central law-enforcing agencies? Using the tools of evolutionary game theory, Sugden shows how self-enforcing conventions of property and reciprocity can evolve spontaneously out of the interactions of self-interested individuals. He goes on to argue that such conventions tend to become norms, even if they arbitrarily favour some people relative to others, and even if they do not maximize social welfare. In arguing that such norms are genuinely moral, Sugden challenges prevailing views about social justice. This controversial and influential book was the first sustained attempt to use evolutionary game theory to understand the emergence of conventions and norms. This new edition includes a substantial Afterword which reviews the original arguments in the light of subsequent theoretical developments.