Re-feudalizing democracy: an approach to authoritarian populism taken from institutional economics

Ádám, Zoltán (2019) Re-feudalizing democracy: an approach to authoritarian populism taken from institutional economics. Journal of Institutional Economics . pp. 1-14. DOI

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Research on populism has gained importance in the light of the recent global populist surge. Political scientists have become concerned with the problem of authoritarian populism, examining how illiberal, anti-pluralist populist parties have degraded liberal democracies. Economic research on recent forms of populism, although also growing, lack a comprehensive conceptual approach. This paper reduces this gap by conceptualizing authoritarian populism in terms of political transaction costs, arguing that its primary function is to vertically integrate political exchange under conditions of general franchise. If successful, authoritarian populist regimes internalize a large part of political transaction costs inherent in decentralized democratic political exchange. This entails a degraded version of democracy, eliminating a significant part of substantial electoral choice. Through weakening impersonal collective political contracting, authoritarian populists bring back private political contracting as a dominant political coordination mechanism, effectively refeudalizing democracy.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:authoritarian populism, autocracy, political contracting, political exchange, political transaction costs
JEL classification:P10 - Capitalist Systems: General
P16 - Capitalist Institutions; Welfare State
P48 - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
P51 - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
Subjects:Economic development
Economic policy
Economic history
ID Code:4241
Deposited By: Veronika Vitéz
Deposited On:18 Sep 2019 13:51
Last Modified:18 Sep 2019 13:51

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