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Political competition and economic performance: theory and evidence from the United States

Besley, Timothy; Persson, Torsten; Sturm, Daniel.M
Fonte: Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /06/2005 Português
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One of the most cherished propositions in economics is that market competition by and large raises consumer welfare. But whether political competition has similarly virtuous consequences is far less discussed. This paper formulates a model to explain why political competition may enhance economic performance and uses the United States as a testing ground for the model’s implications. It finds statistically robust evidence that political competition has quantitatively important effects on state income growth, state policies, and the quality of Governors.

'Human nature', science and international political theory

Brown, Chris
Fonte: Palgrave Macmillan Publicador: Palgrave Macmillan
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /07/2013 Português
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The Post-War rise in importance of the individual in international political theory, as evidenced by the development of the international human rights regime, International Criminal Law and theories of global justice, has, paradoxically, been accompanied by an highly critical approach to the concept of human nature. Criticisms of human nature largely rest on the association of the concept of with social Darwinism, racism, sexism and eugenics, but, understood properly and at the right level of generality, the concept of human nature need not attract such undesirable, pseudo-scientific bedfellows. The modern science of evolutionary psychology is in the process of changing our understanding of the social implications of our genetic inheritance, and social and political theorists ought not to resist this change, and international relations scholars should not leave the field to realist scholars. Premature generalisations based on the findings of evolutionary psychology should certainly be resisted, but so should blanket rejections of the new knowledge. The task for international political theorists is to find a way of integrating the findings of the new human sciences into a humane understanding of the human animal.

Book review: Inventing the market: Smith, Hegel & political theory

Boscan, Luis
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 22/08/2013 Português
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"Inventing the Market: Smith, Hegel & Political Theory." Liza Herzog. Oxford University Press. April 2013. --- Inventing the Market: Smith, Hegel, and Political Theory analyses the constructions of the market in the thought of Adam Smith and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and discusses their relevance for contemporary political philosophy. Combining the history of ideas with systematic analysis, it contrasts Smith’s view of the market as a benevolently designed ‘contrivance of nature’ with Hegel’s view of the market as a ‘relic of the state of nature.’ As the various prizes won by Herzog for this work confirm, this is an excellent scholarly effort, concludes Luis Boscán.

Duverger’s Law is a dead parrot: European political scientists need to recognize that plurality or majority voting has no tendency at all to produce two party politics

Dunleavy, Patrick
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 20/06/2012 Português
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Political science has very few ‘laws’, perhaps explaining why the European discipline has so stubbornly clung onto its most famous product – Maurice Duverger’s claim that countries using ‘majoritarian’ voting systems will always have two party politics. This ‘Law’ has underpinned numerous completely ineffective efforts by European politicians in PR systems to create party consolidation by changing their voting laws. With European political scientists meeting this week in Berlin, Patrick Dunleavy explains why such ‘reforms’ have had zero success. Modern theory and better evidence now show that the alleged ‘Law’ has lost all credibility in FPTP countries – and works only in the USA.

Famine mortality, rational political inactivity, and international food aid

Plümper, Thomas; Neumayer, Eric
Fonte: Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /02/2007 Português
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Famine mortality is preventable by government action and yet some famines kill. Amartya Sen has famously stated that no famine with significant excess mortality has ever occurred in a democracy. Yet, critics have argued that some countries have experienced famine mortality despite democratic governance and that Sen’s hypothesis cannot account for the conditions under which even autocracies may prevent famine mortality. We develop a political theory of famine mortality, which suggests that it can be entirely politically rational for a political support maximizing government, democratic or not, to remain inactive in the face of severe famine threat. Differences in famine mortality are due to differences in the policies democracies and autocracies adopt in responding to this political trade-off. Autocracies are more likely to compensate only affected elite members by targeted transfers, leaving other affected individuals outside the elite vulnerable to the potentially mortal impact of famine. Democracies, however, need to employ policies with quasi-public good characteristics due to the larger number of affected individuals with political influence. We derive the testable hypotheses that famine mortality is possible in democracies, but likely to be lower than in autocracies. Moreover...

Making the political: founding and action in the political theory of Zhang Shizhao

Jenco, Leigh K.
Fonte: Cambridge University Press Publicador: Cambridge University Press
Tipo: Book; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /06/2010 Português
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Democratic political theory often sees collective action as the basis for noncoercive social change, assuming that its terms and practices are always self-evident and accessible. But what if we find ourselves in situations where collective action is not immediately available, or even widely intelligible? This book examines one of the most intellectually substantive and influential Chinese thinkers of the early twentieth century, Zhang Shizhao (1881–1973), who insisted that it is individuals who must “make the political” before social movements or self-aware political communities have materialized. Zhang draws from British liberalism, democratic theory, and late Imperial Confucianism to formulate new roles for effective individual action on personal, social, and institutional registers. In the process, he offers a vision of community that turns not on spontaneous consent or convergence on a shared goal, but on ongoing acts of exemplariness that inaugurate new, unpredictable contexts for effective personal action.

‘A state of one’s own’: secessionism and federalism in India

Chandhoke, Neera
Fonte: Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /09/2006 Português
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Ever since the 'ethnic explosion' and secessionism blasted across the world in the mid-1980s, theorists have worked overtime to devise solutions to what appears to be an intractable problem. The problem is simply this: how can the escalation of ethnic discontent into violence, armed struggle and demands for separation be pre-empted? Violent conflicts can be managed, but when politics in the violent mode overlaps with identity issues, the problem verges on the insoluble. However, ethnic wars have to be forestalled, simply because they have inflicted incalculable harm on the human condition - grave and massive violations of human rights, dislocations, homelessness, desecration, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Basically, three solutions are on offer to resolve the problem: institutionalisation of democracy; federalism or decentralisation of power and resources and minority rights. Democracy assures citizens that their fundamental rights will be protected through the institutionalisation of two basic norms - participation and accountability. Federalism in and for plural societies is not only about decentralisation of power and resources to territorially distinct administrative units, it is also about such decentralisation to the dominant ethnic group which inhabits these territories...

Liberal theory, uneven development and institutional reform: responding to the crisis in weak states

Brett, Edwin
Fonte: Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /07/2002 Português
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The liberal paradigm responds to the failures of neo-mercantilism by attempting to create reform market-based institutions. This agenda demands such radical changes in institutions, culture, and knowledge systems, that it is hardly surprising that it is faltering in countries where the gap between actually existing and new institutions is so wide. This being so, it is time for a serious reconsideration of a programme that is manifestly failing to achieve its own objectives. This paper looks for explanations for this failure by examining the factors that led to the demise of the post-colonial interventionist programmes, and the problems now associated with their liberal successors. It does this by attempting to validate three propositions: 1) that modern institutions may be failing in crisis states, but still provide the only long-term alternative that offers people freedom, security and prosperity; 2) that reforms must generate antagonistic conflict between new and old institutions and value systems; and 3) that this means that new structures and theoretical paradigms must be adapted to deal with the contradictory realities of the political conflicts that they must inevitably generate during the transition to modernity.

Book review: Gender, agency and political violence: rethinking political violence

O'Branski, Megan
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 10/01/2013 Português
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Considering the conditions, maintenance, and interpretation of political violence, the authors contributing to Gender, Agency and Political Violence analyse the multiple ways in which acts of violence, strategies of resistance, and efforts at conflict resolution are gendered. Featuring chapters on emotion and masculinity alongside The Troubles, and the political rationality of female suicide bombers, Megan O’Branski finds an intriguing and thoughtful contribution to critical theory scholarship.

Politicising Europe's justice deficit: some preliminaries

Wilkinson, Michael
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /02/2014 Português
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Normative political theory is divided on whether questions of distributive justice properly extend beyond the state. From a functionalist perspective, however, justice reflects a balance of material forces, subject to the logics of ‘market’ and ‘social’ justice, or ‘capitalism’ and ‘democracy’. The justice ‘deficit’ is the imbalance or disequilibrium in these logics, an imbalance which the constitution of the post-war European state stabilises through their constraint. European integration, initially an important feature of this post-war settlement, now increasingly comes to be viewed as a significant threat to it. Whereas market logic and capital have been rapidly supra-nationalised, social-democratic logic has struggled to transcend the state, the EU, in particular, lacking the channels of contestation to legitimise redistribution. This leads to an imbalance in the forces of capitalism and democracy, a justice ‘deficit’, which destabilizes national as well as supranational institutions, but also leads to questions being asked of what Germans owe Greeks, or vice versa. The justice deficit and reaction to it now appear to be threatening core features of state sovereignty. But it also suggests that the logic of the state - and the question: to whom are obligations owed? - must itself be subject to contestation; the dilemma of market and social justice...

Beliefs in conspiracies tend to accord with political attitudes, making it unlikely that any one conspiracy theory will be embraced by the country

Uscinski, Joseph E.
Fonte: The London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: The London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 17/09/2013 Português
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In the years since 9/11, conspiracy theories have regained prominence in much of the American public’s imagination. But why do many so readily embrace certain conspiracy theories, often in the face of a profound lack of evidence? Joseph E. Uscinski argues that in order for a person to believe in a conspiracy theory, that person must first have a worldview that encompasses conspiratorial thinking, and second, the theory must be in accord with their other predispositions.

Political theory: the state of the art

Kelly, Paul
Fonte: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Publicador: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /02/2006 Português
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For much of its history political science has been political theory. As political science begins to establish a stronger sense of identity, political theorists have become more concerned about the point of their activity. In reviewing current trends and future prospects for political theory the author examines the current state of the art, including the undue significance attached to gurus such as Michael Oakeshott and Isaiah Berlin, the quest for normalisation in a preoccupation with theories of justice and the irrelevancy of permanent critique. The author concludes with a suggestion that political theory needs a much greater critical engagement with political science

The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India

Besley, Timothy; Burgess, Robin
Fonte: Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /12/2000 Português
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The determinants of government responsiveness to its citizens is a key issue in political economy. Here we develop a model based on the solution of political agency problems. Having a more informed an politically active electorate strengthens incentives for governments to be responsive. This suggests that there is a role both for democratic institutions and the mass media in ensuring that the preferences of citizens are reflected in policy. The ideas behind the model are tested on panel data from India. We show that public food distribution and calamity relief expenditure are greater, controlling for shocks, where governments face greater electoral accountability and where newspaper circulation is highest.

The politics of Piketty: what political science can learn from, and contribute to, the debate on Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Hopkin, Jonathan
Fonte: Wiley Publicador: Wiley
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2014 Português
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Thomas Piketty's imposing volume has brought serious economics firmly into the mainstream of public debate on inequality, yet political science has been mostly absent from this debate. This article argues that political science has an essential contribution to make to this debate, and that Piketty's important and powerful book lacks a clear political theory. It develops this argument by first assessing and critiquing the changing nature of political science and its account of contemporary capitalism, and then suggesting how Piketty's thesis can be complemented, extended and challenged by focusing on the ways in which politics and collective action shape the economy and the distribution of income and wealth. Although Capital's principal message is that ‘capital is back’ and that without political interventions active political interventions will continue to grow, a political economy perspective would suggest another rather more fundamental critique: the very economic forces Piketty describes are embedded in institutional arrangements which can only be properly understood as political phenomena. In a sense capital itself – the central concept of the book – is almost meaningless without proper consideration of its political foundations. Even if the fact of capital accumulation may respond to an economic logic...

Political theory and social practices: G.A. Cohen, Rawls, Habermas and the problem of self-grounding

Gledhill, James
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /07/2010 Português
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In a time of transitions, post-Rawlsian political philosophy is itself in transition, engaged in a methodological dispute regarding the relationship between political theory and changing social practices. This thesis enters this dispute through engaging with John Rawls’s philosophical project and the two leading but contrasting critiques of Rawls’s constructivist methodology. I first seek to rescue constructivism from G.A. Cohen’s critique of its fact-dependence, but secondly argue with Jürgen Habermas for a shift from constructivism to reconstructivism. Part I establishes a theoretical framework. I analyse competing paradigms of the relationship between normative principles and social practices and situate them in relation to the problem of self-grounding. This is the methodological problem of how, in accordance with a conception of freedom as autonomy, philosophy can find normative foundations within existing social practices. While Cohen rejects this problem in arguing for a choice between realism and utopianism, Rawls’s realistic utopianism and Habermas’s utopian realism are both driven by the problem of self-grounding. Part II defends Rawls’s constructivism against Cohen’s criticism of its restricted focus on the basic structure of society and fact-dependence. Part III analyses and critiques the development of Rawls’s project. It analyses Rawls’s concern with the problem of stability and critiques from a Habermasian perspective the approach to the problem of self-grounding this represents. Part IV argues that post-Rawlsian deliberative democrats who have sought to combine ideas from Rawls and Habermas also fail to adequately address this methodological problem. Part V engages with Habermas on his own terms. I first analyse Habermas’s reconstruction of the tension between facticity and validity in morality and politics. On this basis...

Rethinking agency & responsibility in contemporary international political theory

Ainley, Kirsten
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /10/2006 Português
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The core argument of this work is that the individualist conceptions of agency and responsibility inherent in the contemporary ethical structure of international relations are highly problematic, serve political purposes which are often unacknowledged, and have led to the establishment of an international institutional regime which is limited in the kind of justice it can bring to international affairs. Cosmopolitan liberalism has led to the privileging of the discourse of rights over that of responsibility, through its emphasis on legality and the role of the individual as the agent and subject of ethics; this has culminated in the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC, described by its supporters as the missing link in human rights enforcement, is a result of changing conceptions of agency and responsibility beyond borders – normative discourse has moved from state to individual, from politics and ethics to law, and from peace to justice, but I argue that it has not yet moved beyond the dichotomy of cosmopolitan and communitarian thinking. I contend that neither of these two positions can offer us a satisfactory way forward, so new thinking is required. The core of the thesis therefore explores alternative views of agency and responsibility – concepts which are central to international political theory...

A liberalism without liberals

Argenton, Carlo
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: text
Publicado em /06/2015 Português
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Over the course of (roughly) the past three decades, much of contemporary liberal political theory has followed John Rawls and taken a ‘political’ turn. Liberalism, it is now generally supposed, is a ‘political’ doctrine, not a philosophy of life. The most influential account of such a liberalism is public reason liberalism. According to public reason liberals, political rules and decisions have to be justified by appeal to ideas or arguments that those subject to them (at some level of idealisation) endorse or accept. Public reason is the standard by which moral or political rules can be assessed. In this thesis I do two things. First, I offer a critique of public reason liberalism. I argue that it fails to live up to the ideal of liberal reason, that it fails to take diversity seriously, and that it is based on a problematic account of political institutions. Second, I articulate a genuinely ‘political’ alternative, which I call a liberalism without liberals. I develop this alternative on the basis of a re-interpretation of David Hume’s critique of the social contract and of his account of pluralism, the moral order and social criticism. I argue that Hume understands political society as the product of shared interests and not (as social contract theorists suppose) as an embodiment of a common will. I also argue that Hume offers a compelling...

Obligations beyond the state: the individual, the state and humanity in international theory

Linklater, Andrew
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //1978 Português
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This thesis is concerned with one way in which political philosophy and international relations might co-operate more closely with one another. The approach so formed, international relations theory, is particularly important in order to analyse and try to resolve one of the more fundamental questions in modern politics. This question concerns the right ordering of two types of obligation, the one asserting that a man's obligations are first and foremost to the state of which he is a citizen, the other asserting that as a man he has obligations to the whole of humanity and that these have first claim upon him. The first part of this thesis is concerned with these two theories of obligations and the way in which they are embedded within the theory and practice of the modern state. The argument attempts to set out the basic structure of these two points of view in order that their evaluation may take place in later parts of the thesis. In the second place, the theories of Pufendorf and Vattel are considered in order to discover the manner in which they deal with these two points of view of obligation. Their theories are found to be unsatisfactory and a more adequate theory of international obligation is traced in the writings of Kant. The third part of the thesis attempts to build upon Kant in order to take some further steps towards a theory of international relations. This section begins with the argument that the philosophy of international relations is to be understood as part of a wider enterprise...

Hume’s conservative utilitarianism: an interpretation of David Hume’s political and moral philosophy

Chen, Chien-Kang
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /10/2012 Português
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The thesis aims to recover Hume’s connection with utilitarianism. It is argued that Hume is best interpreted as a conservative utilitarian, and this is intended to be a corrective to recent approaches in Hume scholarship. Nowadays the view that Hume is one of the founders of modern utilitarianism is undermined by two views: one sees Hume as a conventionalist contractarian who is the follower of Hobbes, another situates Hume in the Scottish Enlightenment and emphasises his resemblance to Hutcheson. The thesis does not deny that Hume’s political philosophy is influenced by these philosophers. Instead, it is because these views are regarded as providing an exhaustive account of Hume that the thesis aims to challenge them. What is crucial to contemporary Hume studies is a more balanced interpretation of Hume, and this is to be found in the traditional approach which sees Hume as a utilitarian. The thesis is original because, although it recovers a traditional approach, it relates it to contemporary debate by showing that the late 20th century concern to avoid seeing everything through the eyes of utilitarianism has obscured the genuine utilitarian elements of Hume’s political philosophy. The resurgence of interest in the problems of utilitarianism is part of the legacy of post-Rawlsian political theory. Philosophers the thesis criticises such as Gauthier and Barry both follow Rawls in marginalising the contribution of utilitarianism to liberalism. For scholars...

A conditional theory of the ‘political resource curse:’ oil, autocrats, and strategic contexts

Ahmadov, Anar
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /09/2011 Português
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A burgeoning literature argues that the abundance of oil in developing countries strengthens autocratic rule and erodes democracy. However, extant studies either show the average cross-national correlation between oil and political regime or develop particularistic accounts that do not easily lend themselves to theorizing. Consequently, we know little of the causal mechanisms that potentially link oil wealth to undemocratic outcomes and the conditions that would help explain the ultimate, not average, effect of oil on political regime. This study develops a conditional theory of the “political resource curse.” It does so by undertaking a statistical reassessment of the relationship between oil wealth and political regime and a nuanced qualitative examination of a set of carefully selected cases in order to contribute to developing an adequate account of causal mechanisms that transmit and conditions that shape the relationship between oil abundance and autocracy. It draws on qualitative and quantitative evidence collected over eighteen months of fieldwork in oil-rich former Soviet countries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, and the ‘counterfactual’ oil-poor Kyrgyzstan. Employing a theoretical framework that draws on insights from the rentier state theory...