Costing secrecy

Mark Harrison 15 January 2014

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From public finance to climate change, democracy looks to be in trouble. In many Western countries, political decisions are gridlocked while economic, social, and environmental imbalances accumulate. Our leaders juggle public opinion, private lobbies, and expert advice while trying to live within past promises and present legal obligations. The costs of reaching decisions are often high and sometimes prohibitive, leading us into democracy’s ‘do nothing zone’, where bargaining fails and the outcome is procrastination (Wintrobe 2000: 247-279).

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Topics:  Economic history Politics and economics

Tags:  democracy, dictatorship, Soviet Union, autocracy, transaction costs, secrecy

A theory of military dictatorships

Daron Acemoglu, Davide Ticchi , Andrea Vindigni 16 June 2008

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Throughout history, the military has been concerned with much more than national defense. In Imperial Rome, for instance, by the era of the mid Empire it had become customary for the military to influence the selection of the new Emperor. In modern times, virtually all Latin American and African nations have seen military interventions, often culminating in military coups and the emergence of military dictatorships. There are also instances of military involvement in domestic politics, even in apparently consolidated democracies.

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Topics:  Politics and economics

Tags:  democracy, Political Economy, military, coups, dictatorship, oligarchy

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