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Two Fallacies of Democratic Design

LPE scholars and fellow travelers often call for a more democratic organization of power in our society. However, in specifying what this entails at the level of institutions, proposals commonly rely on two widespread but mistaken assumptions - the idea that more participation is necessarily more democratic, and the idea that democratizing decision-making within firms, political parties, and other mid-level institutions will enhance the quality of democracy in society at large.

How Should We Think About Democracy?

The concept of democracy is critical to the Law and Political Economy approach, yet its precise meaning is not always clear. On the left, “democracy” often functions as shorthand for the opposite of whatever has most recently earned our wrath: be it oligarchy or neoliberalism, marketization or regulatory capture, technocracy or inequality. Even when the…