Political Theory and Public Choice

Front Cover
Anthony Downs
Edward Elgar Pub, Jan 1, 1998 - Political Science - 161 pages
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'Anthony Downs is one of the outstanding thinkers of our times. In an age and country where the title of intellectual has become almost a term of abuse, he has demonstrated the power of ideas in the world of practical affairs. His work focuses on problems, and cuts through disciplinary boundaries. It is informed by a concern to improve the human condition, and a commitment to rigorous analysis of how this can be achieved. The papers in this collection, from his classic work on the economic theory of democracy, to his writings on urban policy and property markets, provide a summary of forty years of a career that has decisively shaped the way in which we think about public affairs.' - Michael Keating, University of Western Ontario, Canada 'Anthony Downs is one of the founding fathers of modern public choice theory. His seminal contributions, some of which are reprinted in these volumes, remain an important source of inspiration for today's scholars. Reading the articles reprinted in these two books will be a highly rewarding experience, readers will be reminded of the fundamental issues in the political-economic analysis of democracy and the powerful insights which are obtained from an application of this approach to policy problems. Downs is a master analyst and practitioner and a powerful communicator. Those coming fresh to the subject will be greatly stimulated by his writings.' - Peter Jackson, University of Leicester, UK This volume, together with a new original introduction, contains the most significant of Anthony Downs's essays written over the past four decades on politics and political theory. The articles address issues such as democracy, public choice theory, rational political decision making and political policy. As such this will be an ideal companion to his famous book An Economic Theory of Democracy. In this collection, Anthony Downs shows how a rational analyst can apply common sense and the lessons of practical experience to the most fundamental and difficult aspects of the political theory of democracy. Written in easily accessible language, Downs' analysis of political behaviour in a democracy and specifically the public choice view is applied to many aspects of democratic politics including cycles of political attention to specific issues, and the long term evolution of democracy. This book will prove invaluable to academics and students of politics, democracy, and public choice theory.

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