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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Blind Leading The Blind: Who Gets Polling Information And Does It Improve Decisions?, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins Jan 2010

The Blind Leading The Blind: Who Gets Polling Information And Does It Improve Decisions?, Cheryl Boudreau, Mathew D. Mccubbins

Faculty Scholarship

We analyze whether and when polls help citizens to improve their decisions. Specifically, we use experiments to investigate 1) whether and when citizens are willing to obtain polls and 2) whether and when polls help citizens to make better choices than they would have made on their own. We find that citizens are more likely to obtain polls when the decisions they must make are difficult and when they are unsophisticated. Ironically, when the decisions are difficult, the pollees are also uninformed and, therefore, do not provide useful information. We also find that when polls indicate the welfare-improving choice, citizens ...


The Rule Of Law Unplugged, Daniel B. Rodriguez, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Barry R. Weingast Jan 2010

The Rule Of Law Unplugged, Daniel B. Rodriguez, Mathew D. Mccubbins, Barry R. Weingast

Faculty Scholarship

The "Rule of Law" is a venerable concept, but, on closer inspection, it is a complex admixture of positive assumptions, inchoate political and legal theory, and occasionally wishful thinking. Although enormous investments have been made in rule of law reformism throughout the world, advocates of transplanting American-style legal and political institutions to developed and developing countries are often unclear about what they are transplanting and why they are doing so. The concept of rule of law has become unplugged from theories of law. Scholars clearly have more work to do in understanding the rule of law and designing institutions to ...


Can Mature Democracies Be Perfected?, Guy-Uriel Charles Jan 2010

Can Mature Democracies Be Perfected?, Guy-Uriel Charles

Faculty Scholarship

One of the more vexing questions about democracy that is often debated among political theorists, political scientists, and legal scholars is whether the democratic character of mature democracies can be improved. From one view, that of democratic realists, mature democracies are perfected as a matter of definition and as a matter of realistic expectations. Because mature democracies are those that respect core democratic principles, variations outside the core are simply policy differences based upon each democratic polity’s willingness to engage in a different set of trade-offs. For democratic realists, variations in democratic practice that are not related to core ...


The Mirage Of Non-State Governance, Ralf Michaels Jan 2010

The Mirage Of Non-State Governance, Ralf Michaels

Faculty Scholarship

In this Essay, I offer three theses, all of which are critical. First, non‑state governance is conceptually unattractive; it is a concept that makes little sense. Second, non‑state governance is empirically unattractive; meaningful non‑state governance rarely exists. Third, meaningful non‑state governance is normatively unattractive; we would rarely want it, and people postulating it usually expect the state to play an important role. However, I also have something constructive: a proposed trajectory. Talk about the state and the non‑state can only be an intermediary stage in a trajectory of a theory of governance that might lead ...