What Is Next for the Study of Nondemocracy?

Forthcoming, The Research Agenda in New Institutional Economics (Claude Ménard and Mary Shirley, eds.), Northampton and Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

9 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2018

Date Written: July 20, 2018

Abstract

The vast majority of the world's population has always had limited access to political (and economic) institutions. Yet until recently the overwhelming share of intellectual effort in political economy, if not always new institutional economics, was devoted to the study of mature democracies. This imbalance has begun to be reversed, and with vigor. Much of the contemporary literature on nondemocracy falls into two broad areas of inquiry: a) the analysis of formal institutions such as elections, parties, and legislatures, and b) the study of autocratic control, typically through the manipulation of beliefs. Scholars of NIE will recognize in this characterization a familiar divide between formal institutions, on the one hand, and social norms and beliefs, on the other. From my perspective, the most promising opportunities for research lie in a truly comparative analysis of the formal institutions of nondemocracy and the study of how these institutions interact with social norms and practices.

Keywords: Nondemocracy, Autocracy, Dictatorship, New Institutional Economics

JEL Classification: D72, P16, B250

Suggested Citation

Gehlbach, Scott, What Is Next for the Study of Nondemocracy? (July 20, 2018). Forthcoming, The Research Agenda in New Institutional Economics (Claude Ménard and Mary Shirley, eds.), Northampton and Cheltenham: Edward Elgar., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3217284

Scott Gehlbach (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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