Category Archives: Political theory

Upmarket Agitprop: Clive James on John Howard on Bob Menzies

An essay prompted by a friend recommending James’ essay I think largely for its defence of Menzies as worthy of more respect he’s been given by the left – which is a fair point. Cross posted from The Mandarin, which, to my surprise … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, History, Political theory, Politics - national | 14 Comments

Government for the people, of the people, by people who are pretending

Choosing a Public-Spirited Leader. An experimental investigation of political selection By: Thomas Markussen (epartment of Economics, University of Copenhagen) ; Jean-Robert Tyran (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen) In this experiment, voters select a leader who can either act in the … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Political theory | 1 Comment

Australian politics and the Emperor’s New Clothes

Hans Christian Andersen’s famous story The Emperor’s New Clothes epitomises the phenomenon of the truth hiding in plain sight as a result of collective delusion or selective vision. There is just such a collective public delusion at the heart of … Continue reading

Posted in Political theory, Politics - national | 18 Comments

Can we attract good political leaders? Hint – yes

Can a democracy attract competent leaders, while attaining broad representation? Economic models suggest that free-riding incentives and lower opportunity costs give the less competent a comparative advantage at entering political life. Moreover, if elites have more human capital, selecting on … Continue reading

Posted in Political theory, Politics - international, Politics - national | 5 Comments

On the Origins and Consequences of Racism

We use a novel method to measure racism at both the individual and the country level. We show that our measure of racism has a strong negative and significant impact on economic development, quality of institutions and education. We then … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Philosophy, Political theory, Politics - international | 3 Comments

Slow Democracy: how representation by random selection can rebalance our stricken democracy

I’ve outlined some of the pathologies of what I call ‘vox pop’ democracy in various posts from time to time. As Western democracy degrades before our very eyes (President Donald Trump wasn’t really imaginable a decade or so ago and is still hard … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Political theory | 2 Comments

Elections and development #NeverLetAGoodDeedGoUnpunished

Do anti-poverty programs sway voters? Experimental evidence from Uganda By: Blattman, Christopher ; Emeriau, Mathilde ; Fiala, Nathan A Ugandan government program allowed groups of young people to submit proposals to start skilled enterprises. Among 535 eligible proposals, the government … Continue reading

Posted in Best From Elsewhere, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Political theory | Leave a comment