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The Political Foundations of Democracy and the Rule of Law
Barry R. Weingast
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 91, No. 2 (Jun., 1997), pp. 245-263
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2952354
Page Count: 19
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Democracy, Transgression, Citizenship, Political revolutions, Rule of law, Political power, Puzzles, Incumbents, Civics
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This paper develops a game-theoretic approach to the problem of political officials' respect for political and economic rights of citizens. It models the policing of rights as a coordination problem among citizens, but one with asymmetries difficult to resolve in a decentralized manner. The paper shows that democratic stability depends on a self-enforcing equilibrium: It must be in the interests of political officials to respect democracy's limits on their behavior. The concept of self-enforcing limits on the state illuminates a diverse set of problems and thus serves as a potential basis for integrating the literature. The framework is applied to a range of topics, such as democratic stability, plural societies, and elite pacts. The paper also applies its lessons to the case of the Glorious Revolution in seventeenth-century England.
The American Political Science Review © 1997 American Political Science Association