Peter Leeson: Pirate democracy-18 th century The main point to keep in mind is that Leeson offers a novel, economic, way to understand critical issues in political organization the world over: the paradox of power and the challenge of principal-agent relations (that is, once you delegate authority to some one, how to do you make sure that they will act in your best interest?-how communities of people have confronted these issues, that is in part what Poli 211 is about:-pirate democracy implies a pirate society that required collective decision making-they had solved the paradox of power: that is, the need for an authority and the fact that the very introduction of such an authority generates strong incentives for leader to abuse his power: this is what economists call the paradox of power /27/3/-Leeson then goes down the list of thinkers and political experiences that had sought to come to terms with this: Madison, Rome, Venice, England =the point is: if society cannot overcome Madison’s paradox of power,it has a serious problem.
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This note was uploaded on 12/06/2011 for the course POLI 211 taught by Professor Sabetti during the Spring '08 term at McGill.