This book addresses some basic questions in economics, all of which have a common core - they all refer to forming behaviour, to the emergence of order, its adaptation, its transformation, and its ultimate dissolution into chaos. Starting with the notion of self-organization, the author analyses the operation and the demise of institutions in economics. In doing so, he takes into account the consequences of the intervention of history, chance, necessity, and will - a subject little undertaken in contemporary economictheory. Starting with the theory of microeconomics itself, the author builds precise models based on explicit hypotheses and draws out the significance of the propositions obtained. The book draws on systems theory, evolutionary theory, the literature on institutional economics, and existinggeneral equilibrium theory, and steps outside the present conceptual framework of microeconomics.