The Social Dilemma: Of Autocracy, Revolution, Coup D'etat, and War
Volume 8 in "The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock" draws from two highly acclaimed and path-breaking books by Gordon Tullock, The Social Dilemma (1974) and Autocracy (1987). In this work, Tullock explores political market behaviour that is based on conflict rather than on bargaining and thus behaviour that results in wealth reduction rather than in gains from trade. "The Social Dilemma: The Economics of War and Revolution" was written in response to the tumultuous events of the 1960s and 1970s. Specifically, after the constitutional crisis caused by the Watergate scandal, Tullock acknowledged the Hobbesian nature of democracy. He posed that political figures are locked in wealth-reducing circumstances by the nature of the political game and inherent problems found in democracy. In Autocracy, Tullock provides a scientific analysis of dictatorships, using a rational choice model to analyse the behaviour of individuals under autocracy. Whereas most scholars have applied public choice theory only to co-operative, democratic states, Tullock extends the theory into new territory. In addition, his insights contribute to the discussion of pressing current issues, such as the transformation of autocracies into democracies.
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