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Democracy in Chains

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

Democracy in Chains begins as the story of James Buchanan, the nobel prize winning economist who popularized public choice economist. MacLean argues that Buchanan joined up with wealthy special interest individuals to influence politics. In partnership with the Koch brothers, MacLean argues that Buchanan and other public choice economists, worked directly to benefit a small group of propertied individuals over the will of the majority.

The work was short listed for the National Book Award while also being widely and sharply criticized by conservative think tanks and public choice economists.

Featuring host Jeffery Jenkins (@jaj7d ?), and guests Matthew Kahn (@mattkahn1966), Anthony Orlando (@AnthonyWOrlando), and Abby Wood (@yesthatabbywood).


To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of Democracy in Chains click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, Google Play, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting app!

Links & further immersion:

James M. Buchanan Jr. – Prize Lecture
Our American Discourse showpage, or subscribe at iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play
West Wing
Public Choice Theory
“Capabilities and Human Rights” by Martha C. Nussbaum
Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach by Martha C. Nussbaum
“Development as Capability Expansion” by Amartya Sen
Equality of What? by Amartya Sen
Luigi Zingales
“Preventing Economists’ Capture” by Luigi Zingales
Matthew Kahn’s blog: Environmental & Urban Economics
“In The Shadows of Sunlight: An Empirical Study of Campaign Finance Transparency” Abby Wood and Douglas Spencer
“When Politics Drives Scholarship” Boston Review

Next Month …

Shakespeare’s Coriolanus is based on the life of the legendary Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus. One of the tragedies, the story follows the Roman leader after his military success against rebellions against the government. Following his military success, his mother drives Coriolanus to become active in politics. Military leaders are sometimes unsuited as populist leaders. Follow his journey, see how the choices he makes, the strategies he takes lead to his downfall.
What can this tell us about leadership, governance, and populism?
Read along with us! Let us know what you think of the book or the podcasts at Facebook or Twitter.

This podcast was produced by Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz, recorded and mixed by The Brothers Hedden, Ryan and Corey Hedden.

Bedrosian Center