The Logic of Political Survival

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MIT Press, 2005 - Political Science - 536 pages
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The authors of this ambitious book address a fundamental political question: why are leaders who produce peace and prosperity turned out of office while those who preside over corruption, war, and misery endure? Considering this political puzzle, they also answer the related economic question of why some countries experience successful economic development and others do not. The authors construct a provocative theory on the selection of leaders and present specific formal models from which their central claims can be deduced. They show how political leaders allocate resources and how institutions for selecting leaders create incentives for leaders to pursue good and bad public policy. They also extend the model to explain the consequences of war on political survival. Throughout the book, they provide illustrations from history, ranging from ancient Sparta to Vichy France, and test the model against statistics gathered from cross-national data. The authors explain the political intuition underlying their theory in nontechnical language, reserving formal proofs for chapter appendixes. They conclude by presenting policy prescriptions based on what has been demonstrated theoretically and empirically.

 

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Contents

Reining in the Prince
3
Three Puzzles
4
The Essence of the Argument
7
Organization of the Investigation
8
Part I
9
Part II
12
Part III
13
Why Focus on Political Survival?
15
Conclusion
213
War Peace and Coalition Size
215
The Democratic Peace
218
The Debate
220
The Dyadic Selectorate Model
224
Structure of the Dyadic Selectorate Game
226
Solving the Game
232
The Decision to Fight or to Negotiate
236

Threats to Political Survival
23
Challenges to Political Survival
26
Easy Answers Inadequate Answers
31
An Incomplete Theory of Institutional Political Laws
34
The Theory Definitions and Intuition
37
The Elements of the Polity
38
The Selectorate S
41
The Winning Coalition W
51
Illustrative Examples of Small Restrictive Winning Coalitions
55
Sources of Risks and Rewards
57
The Challengers Commitment Problem
59
Affinity
60
The Replacement or Deposition Rule
69
What Is Missing from Our Theory
74
Conclusion
75
A Model of the Selectorate Theory
77
Economic Activity Policy Provision and Payoffs
78
Equilibria of the Selectorate Model
80
Alternative Equilibrium
90
How Institutions Structure Incentives
91
Further Implications
99
Bridging from Theory to Testable Hypotheses
104
Appendix
106
POLICY CHOICE AND POLITICAL SURVIVAL
127
Institutions for Kleptocracy or Growth
129
Measurement Issues
132
Institutional Variables
133
Measurement of Labor Leisure and Taxes
140
Labor or Leisure
143
Taxation
147
Economic Growth
149
Government Expenditures Expenditures Per Capita and Opportunities for Kleptocracy
161
Conclusion
171
Institutions Peace and Prosperity
173
Core Public Goods
179
General Public Goods
186
PublicGoods Summary
198
Empirical Assessment of the Provision of Private Goods
200
Montesquieu Madison Population and Public Welfare
207
An Illustration
208
Interaction of Polities
243
Diversionary War and Compromise Agreements
248
Empirical Assessments
250
Conclusion
263
Appendix
265
Political Survival
273
Survival as Explained by the Selectorate Theory
276
Mamluk Egypt
289
Empirical Assessment of Political Survival
292
Extrapolitical Risks of Deposition
311
A Tale of Two Countries
319
Conclusion
324
CHOOSING INSTITUTIONS
327
Institutional Preferences Change from Within
329
The Selectorate Theory and Institutional Preferences
331
Oppression
338
Political Actions to Alter Institutions
354
The Disenfranchised and the Selectorate
355
Protest Civil War and Revolution
361
Actions by Coalition Members
382
Constructing Autocracy
400
Conclusion
402
The Enemy Outside and Within War and Changes of Leaders and Regimes
405
Selection Institutions and War Aims
406
The AngloSoviet Invasion of Iran
424
Testing the WarAims Argument
426
Leadership Removal
439
War and Domestic Change
441
Nation Building After Disputes
451
Franco Mussolini and the Enemy Within
454
Conclusion
455
Appendix
456
Promoting Peace and Prosperity
461
Explaining the Hobbes Index
465
What Can Be Done?
483
Conclusion
485
Notes
487
References
503
Index
519
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About the author (2005)

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is Professor of Politics at New York University and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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