Table of Contents

Public Choice and the Challenges of Democracy

Public Choice and the Challenges of Democracy

New Thinking in Political Economy series

Edited by José Casas Pardo and Pedro Schwartz

This timely and important volume addresses the serious challenges faced by democracy in contemporary society. With contributions from some of the world’s most prestigious scholars of public choice and political science, this comprehensive collection presents a complete overview of the threats democracy must confront, by both contesting accepted ideas and offering new approaches. Using theoretical and empirical evidence, this book will be a significant addition to the current literature, providing original and enlightening perspectives on the theory of democracy.


José Casas Pardo and Pedro Schwartz

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, public choice theory, politics and public policy, political economy, public choice


José Casas Pardo and Pedro Schwartz This volume contains the papers presented at the international conference on ‘Public Choice and the Problems of Democracy’, organized by the Centre for Political Economy and Regulation, which took place in Madrid from 1–3 December 2005 at the University San Pablo CEU. At this conference, some of the most prestigious public choice scholars presented their analyses of the main threats faced by democracy at the beginning of the twenty-first century and put forward some possible remedies, using the instruments and history of their lore. The 19 major chapters in this book cover issues ranging from general threats to a democratic way of life, to faulty institutional arrangements and defective voting rules that plague the political system, down to fiscal issues that affect the governability of democratic nations. Public choice theory finds itself at present in a professional limbo. The Journal of Economic Literature subsumes it in microeconomics, or includes it in the theory of the firm, or notices it in regulation studies. The young see it as a mongrel of public choice theory and welfare economics and give it a wide berth. Others lump it with Austrian economics, implying an uncalled for disregard of both. It is too practical for today’s model mongers or too humdrum for refined political philosophers. This is one reason why public choice scholars increasingly need to meet and publish the papers regularly presented at such venues as the annual meetings of the European Public Choice...