The Federalist Papers and the New Institutionalism (Series on representation) by Bernard Grofman, Donald Wittman
eBook Title: The Federalist Papers and the New Institutionalism (Series on representation)
Publisher: Agathon Press (October 1, 1989)
Category: Politics & Social Sciences
Subcategory: Politics & Government
Size ePub vers.: 1722 kb
Size PDF vers.: 1474 kb
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The Madisonian approach to institutional design, as set forth in The Federalist Papers, is examined from the point of view of leading theorists of the "public choice" school who see themselves as the political heirs of that earlier legacy.
Bernard Grofman taught a course on representation in which the readings included both the Federalist Papers and Buchanan and Tullock s Calculus of Consent. In teaching that course (and, as he writes, forcing himself to reread the Federalist carefully for the first time since his own graduate student days), his admiration for its authors, already high, grew even higher. Convinced that theorists of the public choice school were the natural heirs to the Federalist legacy, he was inspired to invite other scholars to contribute to this volume of articles.
The new institutionalists of the public choice school are, Grofman says, the natural heirs to Madisonian political theory, but the features of Madisonian theory are almost entirely absent from the public choice literature: the role of deliberation and rational persuasion, a concern for justice and the search for the public good, and a respect for civic virtue and civic education. In that vision, institutions really do matter.
Contemporary theorists of the new institutionalism have at their disposal powerful analytic tools which can be used to reformulate and clarify classic issues in political theory. A leading traditional political theorist wrote that public choice modelers needed to rediscover the Constitution (Mansfield, 1987, 41). This volume is intended as a first start in that direction.