Download Democracy and Redistribution by Carles Boix PDF

By Carles Boix

Using analytical instruments borrowed from video game idea, Carles Boix bargains an entire thought of political transitions. it really is one within which political regimes finally rely on the character of monetary resources, their distribution between participants, and the stability of energy between diverse social teams. sponsored by means of certain old study and wide statistical research from the mid-nineteenth century, the learn unearths why democracy emerged in classical Athens. It additionally covers the early triumph of democracy in nineteenth-century agrarian Norway, Switzerland and northeastern the USA in addition to its failure in nations with a strong landowning type.

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Thus the latter need to estimate the likelihood that they will succeed in a civil war before embarking on a revolution. In turn, the rich have to decide, depending on the likelihood that the poor will eventually revolt, whether to use their repressive technology or to voluntarily give up their power and move to a democracy. It is when the poor underestimate the repressive technology of the wealthy while the wealthy play down the organizational capacity of the poor that we witness a revolutionary explosion followed by war.

Finally, capital can be thought of as being somewhat specific to the country in which it is being used. The extent to which an asset is specific is measured by its productivity at home relative to its productivity abroad. Whenever capital is moved abroad, it loses a share σ of its value. More exactly, capital k, which at home would produce y = k, produces abroad y a = k(1 − σ ). Thus, the more specific the capital, that is, the larger σ , the less attractive the option of moving capital abroad becomes to its owners.

As the cost of taxation increases (due to increases in wealth inequality and asset specificity), authoritarianism starts to pay. Still, in that intermediate area, between the two curves, the political solution depends on the size of repression costs. If the latter are low, the wealthy shift to or maintain what will be an uncontested authoritarian regime. If the repression costs are high, as a result of, say, the progressive institutionalization of working-class opposition in trade unions or left-wing parties, the wealthy will concede democracy.

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