Friday, November 28, 2008

The Logic of Political Survival

I'm currently through with chapter 1 of The Logic of Political Survival, written by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith, Randolph M. Siverson and James D. Morrow
Below is a brief introduction on the book from the MIT press:
The authors of this ambitious book address a fundamental political question: why are leaders who produce peace and prosperity turned out of office while those who preside over corruption, war, and misery endure? Considering this political puzzle, they also answer the related economic question of why some countries experience successful economic development and others do not.

The authors construct a provocative theory on the selection of leaders and present specific formal models from which their central claims can be deduced. They show how political leaders allocate resources and how institutions for selecting leaders create incentives for leaders to pursue good and bad public policy. They also extend the model to explain the consequences of war on political survival. Throughout the book, they provide illustrations from history, ranging from ancient Sparta to Vichy France, and test the model against statistics gathered from cross-national data. The authors explain the political intuition underlying their theory in nontechnical language, reserving formal proofs for chapter appendixes. They conclude by presenting policy prescriptions based on what has been demonstrated theoretically and empirically.
Ps. I must thank my friend Peter Chang--who is still studying at NCCU but interns now at MOFA--for borrowing all the books I want to read from the NCCU library.

No comments: