Is Democracy Like Sex?

27 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2010 Last revised: 19 Aug 2010

Date Written: August 11, 1995


As Mancur Olson observed in "The Rise And Decline Of Nations," successful nations are prey to a "web of special interests" that produces calcified legislation inhibiting economic growth and liberty in support of existing special interests. By way of comparison to evolutionary biology and theories about the role of sexual reproduction in promoting resistance to parasitism, this paper looks at the role of democracy, federalism, and limited federal government powers in reducing special-interest parasitism in the American polity.

Keywords: glenn, reynolds, democracy, sex, evolutionary biology, parasitism

Suggested Citation

Reynolds, Glenn Harlan, Is Democracy Like Sex? (August 11, 1995). Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 1635, 1995, University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 112, Available at SSRN: or

Glenn Harlan Reynolds (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 West Cumberland Avenue
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United States
865-974-6744 (Phone)

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