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Understanding Democracy
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  • 14 b/w illus. 9 tables
  • Page extent: 288 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.59 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 321.8
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: JC423 .U485 1997
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Democracy--Congresses

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521582360 | ISBN-10: 0521582369)

DOI: 10.2277/0521582369

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published November 1997

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 16:30 GMT, 01 December 2015)


Democracy has moved to the centre of systemic reflections on political economy, gaining a position which used to be occupied by the debate about socialism and capitalism. Certitudes about democracy have been replaced by an awareness of the elusiveness and fluidity of democratic institutions and of the multiplicity of dimensions involved. This is a book which reflects this intellectual situation. It consists of a collection of essays by well-known economists and political scientists from both North America and Europe on the nature of democracy, on the conditions for democracy to be stable, and on the relationship between democracy and important economic issues such as the functioning of the market economy, economic growth, income distribution and social policies.

• Most sophisticated set of recent views on the nature of democracy from both an economic and a political perspective • Contributors include Barry Weingast, Dennis Mueller, Adam Pzeworski and Russell Hardin, all well known in this field • Editors form the core of an experienced team of writers


Introduction Albert Breton, Ginaluigi Galeotti, Pierre Salmon and Ronald Wintrobe; Part I. Democracy, the Market, and the Law: 1. Democratic stability as a self-enforcing equilibrium Barry R. Weingast; 2. Democracy, competition, and the principle of Isonomia: an economic analysis of the political exchange as an incomplete contract Michel Grillo; 3. Constitutional democracy: an interpretation Dennis Mueller; 4. Necessary and sufficient conditions for a viable democracy Peter Bernholz; Part II. Democracy and Economic Growth: 5. Government spending and economic growth under democracy and dictatorship Jose Antonio Cheibub and Adam Pzeworski; 6. Rent seeking and redistribution under democracy vs dictatorship Ronald Wintrobe; 7. Democractic governments, economic growth and income distribution Pierre Salmon; Part III. Democratic Deficiencies and Possible Improvements: 8. Democracy and the public machinery: the case of the headless leviathan Gianluigi Galeotti; 9. Democracy and empowerment Albert Breton and Margot Breton; 10. Political participation, voting and economic policy: three problems of modern democracies Luigi Campiglio; Part IV. Democratic Expectations: 11. Components of the democratic ideal Ian Shapiro; 12. Democracy on the margin Russell Hardin.


Albert Breton, Gianluigi Galeotti, pierre salmon, ronald wintrobe, barry r. weingast, michel grillo, dennis mueller, peter bernholz, josé antonio cheibub, adam przeworski, margot breton, luigi campiglio, ian shapiro, russell hardin

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