The logic of politics
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The Logic of Politics Announcements Interested in a one-unit California Government seminar in Sacramento (February 26-28)? Meet with legislators, lobbyists, and executive staffers, tour the capitol building, attend legislative hearings, and meet USD alumni working in California politics!

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Presentation Transcript

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Announcements

  • Interested in a one-unit California Government seminar in Sacramento (February 26-28)?

  • Meet with legislators, lobbyists, and executive staffers, tour the capitol building, attend legislative hearings, and meet USD alumni working in California politics!

  • Go see Professor Gray or email [email protected] THIS WEEK to sign up!


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Announcements

  • Office hours today:

    • 10:10-11:05

    • 12:15-1:15

    • (Have to cancel third hour—sorry!)


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State of the Union

  • Impressions?

  • What are some policies that Bush believes are in the country’s best interests? How does he define the common good?

  • Do you agree with his priorities?


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Today

  • A paradox of collective action

  • The logic of politics


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Collective Action Problems

  • Definition: Problems that arise when a group of people tries to reach and implement agreements.

    Two types:

  • Coordination problems

  • Costs associated with collective action


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Coordination Problems

  • Free rider problem

  • Tragedy of the commons

  • Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Costs of collective action

  • Transaction costs

  • Conformity costs


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The Logic of Politics

  • If you understand the incentives faced by a political actor, you can understand his behavior.

  • Therefore, by manipulating his or her private incentives, you can thereby change his or her behavior.

  • Institutions, laws, and rules change individuals’ private incentives.


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Brainstorm

  • Based on what you already know, in what sense were the framers of the Constitution ordinary politicians? In what sense were they extraordinary? How do you think their personal experiences shaped the Constitution itself?


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