Lecture+6+September+23

Lecture+6+September+23 - Today in Comparative Politics...

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Today in Comparative Politics Predatory theory of the state
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Suppose the sovereign can collect a tax at the rate t on both players (2 p t , 2 p t ) (4 p t , 1 t ) Steal (1 t , 4 p t ) (3 t , 3 t ) Forbear Player 1 Steal Forbear Player 2 Is there a a Nash equilibrium? Yes, same as without the tax: {Forbear, Forbear}
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State of Nature or Civil Society? If that the state will demand tax revenue to carry out its job, will the citizen choose to leave the state of nature for civil society? When is civil society preferred to the state of nature? Equilibrium payoffs in the state of nature: (2, 2) Equilibrium payoffs under civil society: (3–t,3–t) Civil society is preferable only if t < 1.
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The State: Solution to the State of Nature Dilemma? The punishment imposed by the state for stealing is sufficiently large that individuals prefer to forbear rather than steal. p > 1 Tax rate charged by the state for acting as the policeman must be small enough that individuals prefer civil society to the state of nature. t < 1
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The benefits and costs of security Political theorists who see the state of nature as particularly dire expect citizens to accept a draconian set of responsibilities in exchange for the “protection” provided by the state. Hobbes wrote at the end of a long period of religious war in Europe and civil war in his home country. Firsthand look at the “war of all against all” For him, the payoff difference between civil society and the state of nature was very large. Hobbes thus believed that almost any level of taxation the state would be acceptable.
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The benefits and costs of security In contrast, political theorists who see civil society as a mere convenience rather than a workable, if inefficient, state of nature, place much greater restrictions on what the state should ask of its citizens. From the relative calm of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson–borrowing from social contract theorist John Locke–believed that “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are possible in the state of nature. Our commitment to the state should be very conditional.
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The benefits and costs of security Contemporary disputes over whether we should reduce civil liberties by giving more power to the state in an attempt to better protect ourselves against terrorist threats directly echo this old tension.
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Lecture+6+September+23 - Today in Comparative Politics...

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