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Designing Democracy

Ideas for Better Rules

Authors: Gersbach, Hans

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About this book

While liberal democracies are the best systems of self-governance for societies, they rarely invoke great enthusiasm. On the one hand, democracies have been known to fail in achieving efficient or fair allocations. On the other hand, many citizens take the democratic system for granted as they have yet to experience an alternative. In this book the vision we propose is that the potential of democ­ racies has not yet been exhausted, and that optimal democracies are both the Utopia for societies and the aim that scientists should be committed to. We present a number of ideas for drawing up new rules to im­ prove the functioning of democracies. The book falls into two parts. The first part examines ways of combining incentive contracts with democratic elections. We suggest that a judicious combina­ tion of these two elements as a dual mechanism can alleviate a wide range of political failures, while at the same time adhering to the founding principles of democracies. The second part presents new rules for decision-making and agenda setting. Together with modern communication devices, these rules can sometimes transcend the limitations of liberal VI Preface democracies in achieving desirable outcomes. Examples of such rules include the flexible majority rule where the size of the ma­ jority required depends on the proposal, or the rule that only those belonging to the winning majority can be taxed.

Table of contents (11 chapters)

Table of contents (11 chapters)
  • Overview

    Pages 3-9

  • Unobservability and Short-Termism in Long-Term Policies

    Pages 11-28

  • Short-Termism and Competition for Incentive Contracts

    Pages 29-52

  • Reelection Thresholds

    Pages 53-66

  • Effort Incentives and Monetary Rewards

    Pages 67-95

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-540-26698-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-540-22402-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-642-06121-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Designing Democracy
Book Subtitle
Ideas for Better Rules
Authors
Copyright
2005
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
eBook ISBN
978-3-540-26698-3
DOI
10.1007/b137964
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-540-22402-0
Softcover ISBN
978-3-642-06121-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 244
Topics