Title: Piracy as an avant-gardist deviance: how do entrepreneurial pirates contribute to the wealth or misery of nations?

Authors: Sylvain Bureau

Addresses: ESCP Europe, 79 avenue de la République, 75011 Paris, France

Abstract: In the literature, piracy is either described as destructive or creative for the wealth of a nation. In this paper, we try to overcome this contradiction by making the following assumption: piracy would be an avant-gardist deviance which generates two dynamics, either conformist or subversive. In the first scenario, the dividing line which is drawn between pirates and society is strengthened to the point where pirates are assimilated to standard criminals. In the second scenario, pirates develop subversive activities that challenge status quo and, when they succeed, transform the rules and values of society. In this case, pirates are no longer deviants; quite the contrary, they are perceived as creative entrepreneurs. This framework provides a complementary view of Baumol's perspective to understand how rules can change and generate productive, unproductive or destructive entrepreneurship.

Keywords: piracy; entrepreneurship; deviance; subversion; conformism; avant-garde; creative entrepreneurs; criminal entrepreneurs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2014.064266

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2014 Vol.22 No.4, pp.426 - 438

Available online: 12 Aug 2014 *

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