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Hiring and Firing Public OfficialsRethinking the Purpose of Elections$
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Justin Buchler

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199759972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199759972.001.0001

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Elections and the Politics of Threats

Elections and the Politics of Threats

(p.3) Chapter 1 Elections and the Politics of Threats
Hiring and Firing Public Officials

Justin Buchler

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to present a new conceptual framework for thinking about modern US elections. The most common framework for thinking about modern US elections has been the market paradigm, where an election is a market in which voters exchange votes for policy. The book argues that an election is not a consumer product market. It is a mechanism for hiring and firing public officials. The chapter discusses the centrality of competition in American political thought; the consequences of noncompetitive elections; and critiques of the market framework for electoral theory. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   US elections, electoral systems, public officials, American politics, competition, market paradigm, electoral theory

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