Possibility of cooperation decreases as group size increases. • With 2 players, cooperation achieved by remembering past behavior and monitoring current behavior. • Easier to free ride in large groups.
Harder to educate and organize large groups. • “Transactions costs” of securing cooperation increase with group size. • “Transactions costs” of bargaining increase with the number of parties involved.
Transactions costs lead to representation. • Representative democracy: citizens elect legislators and legislators make laws. • Replace large group with small group.
Representation works when preferences of citizens are satisfied by bargains among legislators. • Representation does not work when bargains satisfy legislators. • Representation minimizes transaction costs, but perhaps at the cost of authenticity.
Who is represented? • Much political discourse is conducted by groups. • Political action groups educate. • Most of us have a tendency to frame issues in terms of what groups support and oppose them.
Political groups range from groups of individuals arranged around a specific issue to “peak associations.” • Peak associations: AFL-CIO, Farm Bureau, NAM.
Political groups are a hallmark of American democracy. • Bentley: Each group has a direction and magnitude. • Policy shifts caused by changing group preferences and clout. • Politics as physics.
de Tocqueville said group politics was the definitive feature of politics in this country. • Theme: Common interest leads naturally to motivated organizations! Politics is about how these organizations support and oppose each other.
Testing the Pluralist Hypothesis. • If groups arise from shared interests, they should form in proportion to interests.