Liberty Review

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Democracy Despite Ignorance: Questioning the Veneration of Knowledge in Politics

SIMON T. KAYNE
CRITICAL REVIEW (2015). ADVANCED ONLINE PUBLICATION. DOI: 10.1080/08913811.2015.1111681

Abstract: Ilya Somin, like several other political epistemologists, effectively exposes the extent of public ignorance and the ways in which such ignorance may damage democratic outcomes. This underpins his case for a more streamlined state, leaving more to individual “foot voting”—where citizens are better incentivized to choose knowledgeably and rationally. One cannot dispute the fact of deep public ignorance. However, one can question the widespread assumption that ignorance is necessarily ethically significant, always productive of undesirable outcomes, or otherwise implicitly dangerous for democracy. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Politics

Rational Choice and Political Irrationality in the New Millennium

TOM HOFFMAN
CRITICAL REVIEW (2015). ADVANCED ONLINE PUBLICATION. DOI:10.1080/08913811.2015.1111679

Abstract:  Ilya Somin’s Democracy and Political Ignorance uses a by-now familiar rational-choice lens with which to explain and analyze Americans’ widespread political ignorance. Unlike some scholars who tout rational choice on purely predictive or heuristic grounds, Somin claims that it also offers a more accurate description of reality, in this case better explaining the findings of empirical public-opinion research. In this essay, I compare Somin’s central concept of rational ignorance and the related concept of “rational irrationality” with the earlier explanatory approach taken by Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter in his classic study, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Politics

The Three “Furies” of Libertarianism: Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, and Ayn Rand

JENNIFER BURNS
THE JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY 102.3 (2015): 746-774

Abstract:  To William F. Buckley Jr., they were the “three furies” of libertarianism: the children’s author and magazine writer Rose Wilder Lane, the book critic Isabel Paterson, and the best-selling novelist Ayn Rand. Popular writers who are not typically remembered as significant intellectuals, Lane, Paterson, and Rand nonetheless exerted, according to their contemporaries, a powerful influence on the ideological development of the American Right. But what exactly was this influence, and how should historians make sense of the striking presence of three women, bound by similar life experiences and tenuous bonds of friendship, at the core of modern antistatism?

Filed under: History, Society

The Evolution of Culture and Institutions: Evidence from the Kuba Kingdom

SARA LOWES, NATHAN NUNN, JAMES A. ROBINSON, JONATHAN WEIGEL
NBER WORKING PAPER NO. 21798 (December 2015)

Abstract: We use variation in historical state centralization to examine the impact of institutions on cultural norms. The Kuba Kingdom, established in Central Africa in the early 17th century by King Shyaam, had more developed state institutions than the other independent villages and chieftaincies in the region. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, History, Politics

Anti-Immigrant Prejudice in Rising East Asia: A Stereotype Content and Integrated Threat Analysis

JONATHAN E. RAMSAY AND JOYCE S. PANG
POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY (2015). ADVANCED ONLINE PUBLICATION. DOI: 10.1111/pops.12312

Abstract: Immigration is a global phenomenon, yet comparatively few psychological investigations of anti-immigrant prejudice have been conducted in East Asia, a region of high economic growth that is set to become a leading destination for international migrants. Over two studies, we examined Singaporean attitudes towards four prominent immigrant groups: Chinese, Filipino, South Asian, and Western immigrants. Each immigrant group was found to be associated with a unique attitudinal profile. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Politics

The Backyard Politics of Attitudes Toward Immigration

MARA OSTFELD
POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY (2015). ADVANCED ONLINE PUBLICATION. DOI: 10.1111/pops.12314

Abstract: Using two survey experiments, I reconsider the role that the racialized physical traits and level of assimilation of salient immigrants play in shaping attitudes toward immigration. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Politics

Summaries Archive

Recent Posts: Liberty Review América Latina

Mano invisible, cláusulas lockeanas y justicia privada: Emergencia y justificación del Estado en Anarquía, Estado y Utopía

FELIPE SCHWEMBER AUGIER REVISTA DE CIENCIA POLÍTICA 35.2 (2015): 409-426 Abstract: El presente trabajo analiza el argumento ofrecido por Nozick en favor de la licitud del Estado. Se sostendrá que, bien entendido, este argumento hace frente a dos dificultades diferentes: una descriptiva (el surgimiento inocuo e inintencionado del Estado) y otra de iure (la legitimidad del Estado). La […]

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