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Hiring and Firing Public Officials: Rethinking the Purpose of Elections

Justin Buchler


Conventional theories of elections hold that an election is analogous to a consumer product market. According to the market paradigm, voters are consumers, candidates are competing firms, and an election is a market in which voters exchange votes for policy by voting for the candidates whose policies they prefer. According to this logic, a healthy democracy requires frequent competitive elections. The market analogy underlies decades of electoral theory, but this book contends that it does not capture the real nature of elections. In fact, our widespread dissatisfaction with the current state ... More

Keywords: theories of elections, market paradigm, voters, consumers, competitive elections, electoral theory, democracy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199759972
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199759972.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Justin Buchler, author
Case Western Reserve University