Adam Przeworski

Adam Przeworski
New York University | NYU · Department of Politics

About

203
Publications
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24,975
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Publications

Publications (203)
Preprint
A hidden facet of democratization in the world over the past two centuries has been the increased weight of people’s voice in electing presidents. On the basis of new data on all presidential elections in the world since 1789, we show that they evolved from systems in which the final decision was made by someone other than voters, to systems in whi...
Article
¿Debería leerse a Marx hoy? ¿Cuáles de sus teorías sobreviven al paso del tiempo y cuáles deberían abandonarse? Este artículo revisa cuatro de los temas de Marx: la búsqueda de la abundancia material, la compatibilidad entre capitalismo y democracia, el papel del Estado y la teoría de la dinámica del capitalismo.
Preprint
The US 2020 presidential election constitutes an anomaly for the general paradigm of learning from history that organizes cross-national research in politics. Was it a unique event that can be ignored or must we consider that history is no longer a reliable guide?
Article
Should one read Marx today? Which of his theories survive the test of time and which should be abandoned? This article reviews four of Marx’s themes: the quest for material abundance, the compatibility of capitalism and democracy, the role of the state, and the theory of the dynamics of capitalism.
Preprint
Full-text available
Democracies reacted slower than autocracies to the specter of the pandemic, and the most solidly democratic among them were particularly slow to react. We examine at which stages of the spread of the Covid governments introduced four measures that to varying degree abrogate liberal rights: school closings, bans on public meetings, compulsory lockdo...
Article
Representation is always a dynamic relation, a tatonnement, in which the represented adjust their preferences on the basis of beliefs induced by the representatives. All rulers—those selected in clean elections, those who hold such ceremonies without putting their power at stake, and those who do not even bother to hold them—claim to have reasons t...
Article
Democracies reacted slower than autocracies to the specter of the pandemic, and the most solidly democratic among them were particularly slow to react. We examine at which stages of the spread of the Covid governments introduced four measures that to varying degree abrogate liberal rights: school closings, bans on public meetings, compulsory lockdo...
Preprint
Full-text available
The dream of all politicians is to remain for ever in office. Most governmentsattempt to advance this goal by building popular support within the establishedinstitutional framework. Some, however, seek to protect their tenure in office byundermining institutions and disabling all opposition. The striking lesson of thesuccessful cases of backsliding...
Book
Cambridge Core - American Studies - Crises of Democracy - by Adam Przeworski
Article
Why are the fastest growing countries predominantly autocracies? One possible reason is that growth “tigers” are poor countries that begin growing when their distance to the most advanced economies is large, and poor countries tend to be autocracies. All that is needed to reproduce the observed historical patterns is income convergence and a positi...
Article
Full-text available
Authoritarian leaders maintain their grip on power primarily through preventive repression routinely exercised by specialized security agencies, with the aim of preventing any opponents from organizing and threatening their power. We develop a formal model to analyze the moral hazard problems inherent in the principal-agent relationship between rul...
Article
Full-text available
Authoritarian leaders maintain their grip on power primarily through preventive repression, routinely exercised by specialized security agencies with the aim of preventing any opponents from organizing and threatening their power. We develop a formal model to analyze the moral hazard problems inherent in the principal-agent relationship between rul...
Research
Translation to Portuguese of "What makes democracies endure", by Adam Przeworski, Michael Alvarez, José Antônio Cheibub and Fernando Limongi.
Article
Most of my work focused on the functioning and the limits of democracy. I place the evolution of our understanding of this bewildering institution in the context of historical events and consider the challenges posed by its current critics. I also reflect on methods, arguing that game theory is the natural language of the social sciences. These rum...
Article
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Leading Western and Russian political scientists contributed to this collective study, which covers issues related to the Russian record of democratic rule and operation of the current political regime in the country, as well as comparative analysis of various concepts of democracy and institutional analysis of various organisations and mechanisms...
Article
Full-text available
Leading Western and Russian political scientists contributed to this collective study, which covers issues related to the Russian record of democratic rule and operation of the current political regime in the country, as well as comparative analysis of various concepts of democracy and institutional analysis of various organisations and mechanisms...
Chapter
Quantitative cross-national comparisons usually are based on smaller N's. This implies that theory needs to be stronger and that counterfactuals need to be made explicit. Bayesian estimation is, in this situation, an attractive possibility. Because dependent variables are often categorical or limited, it is often preferable to use nonlinear models,...
Book
What can we learn about democracy from the experience of post-Soviet Russia? What can we learn about the prospects for democracy in Russia from the experience of 'really existing democracies'? Must some 'pre-requisites', cultural or material, be fulfilled for democracy to become possible? This book examines the current state of Russia and the prosp...
Chapter
The “normal” exercise of hegemony on the now classical terrain of parliamentary regime is characterized by a combination of force and consent, which balance each other reciprocally, without force predominating excessively over consent … Between consent and force stands corruption/fraud (which is characteristic of certain situations when it is hard...
Chapter
INTRODUCTION A central claim of various projects of “non-Western Democracy” is that democracy need not embody the institutional features that characterize it in contemporary “Western” democratic systems, specifically, opposition organized in political parties and contestation of control over government in the form of electoral competition. This sta...
Chapter
INTRODUCTION Voting was almost everywhere public when first national elections took place, early in the nineteenth century. Yet the adoption of secret ballots was steady and inexorable. To my best knowledge, only Bhutan and Iran utilized public voting as of 2000. Why, then, did voting tend to be public early on and became almost universally secret...
Article
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Changing governments through elections is a rare and a recent practice. Yielding office the first time is foreboding because it entails the risk that the gesture would not be reciprocated, but the habit develops rapidly once the first step is taken. This article provides evidence for these assertions by examining about 3,000 elections in the world...
Article
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Este artigo aborda estritamente um único enigma: por que os países que tentaram instaurar uma democracia mais cedo a vivenciaram com menor frequência? As dinâmicas de regime são impulsionadas por dois mecanismos: (1) as democracias se tornam mais duráveis à medida que aumenta a renda per capita; e (2) experiências anteriores com a democracia desest...
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“Toute Constitution est un régicide.” l’abbé Rauzan, quoted in de Wasquerel and Yvert 2002: 61 Introduction The topic of this chapter is the origins of government responsibility to parliaments, the shift of the power to appoint governments from the monarch to elected assemblies. Whereas one can adduce several reasons to study the history of parliam...
Chapter
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The Polish Constitution of 1952 appears in all substantive aspects to be a constitution of democracy. Most importantly, it does not contain the clause giving the communist party “the leading role in the state,” a clause standard in communist constitutions, beginning with the Soviet one of 1936. This fact is puzzling because Communist Party had a de...
Article
Conflicts, liberty and peace do not coexist easily. Through most of history, civil peace was maintained by the threat of force. Contemporary ideologues of authoritarian regimes maintain that political conflicts inevitably result in violence, and the founders of modern representative institutions in the West have shared this view. Yet we now know th...
Article
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Representative government in the West was born under an ideology that postulated a basic harmony of interests in society. The political decision process was thus expected to be largely consensual. This ideology obfuscated important conflicts of values and interests, and it became untenable with the rise of mass, class-based and religious parties. B...
Article
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We examine the impact of political and criminal accountabil- ity on economic growth. Governments seek to maximize their own consumption by extracting rents that are costly to growth. When citizens are able to depose politicians through elections, governments are tightly controlled. The rents politicians are able to extract increase in the length of...
Article
The political institutions under which we live today evolved from a revolutionary idea that shook the world in the second part of the eighteenth century: that a people should govern itself. Yet if we judge contemporary democracies by the ideals of self-government, equality and liberty, we find that democracy is not what it was dreamt to be. This bo...
Article
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The eighteenth-century ideal of self-government of the people was based on an assumption that renders it incoherent and unrealistic, namely, that interests and values are sufficiently harmonious that each individual needs to obey only himself while living under laws chosen by all. This conception collapses in the presence of heterogeneous preferenc...
Article
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Why was franchise extended to the lower classses and to women? Was it conquered by the excluded groups, threatening that unless they were admitted as citizens they would reach for power by other, revolutionary, means? Or was it voluntarily granted by the incumbent elites? This question is examined statistically, using a new dataset covering the ent...
Article
Full-text available
The paper is narrowly addressed to a single puzzle: How did it happen that countries that attempted to install democracy earlier enjoyed it less frequently? Regime dynamics are driven by two mechanisms: (1) Democracies become more durable as per capita income increases, and (2) Past experiences with democracy destabilize both democracies and autocr...
Article
Dass Demokratie nicht nur politische, sondern auch ökonomische Gleichheit fördern soll, ist eine unwiderstehliche intuitive Überzeugung. Demokratien haben es jedoch mit ökonomischen Systemen zu tun, in denen Märkte die Verteilung der meisten Ressourcen regeln, und Märkte (re-)generieren ständig Ungleichheit. Deshalb sind wir immer wieder überrascht...
Article
Participation in electoral politics is not a fully voluntary act. Suffrage rules regulate who can participate, whereas institutional arrangements affect incentives to vote by shaping the consequences of the voting act. The secular increase of electoral participation in the world during the past two centuries was largely due to extensions of suffrag...
Article
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This article provides an overview of the issues needed in making causal inferences, when the generated data come from processes that are not controlled by the researcher. This overview serves as an introduction to the issues that have been discussed in detail by other researchers. This article emphasizes that the possible causes of these issues may...
Article
This article examines the conditions under which a self-enforcing democracy would last. A summary of the early nineteenth-century views according to which democracy could not last because it was a mortal threat to property is provided in the first section. The article then summarizes two models that are motivated by a possibility regarding the insu...
Chapter
Michael Wallerstein's tragic death at the age of fifty-four deprived the world of one of its leading political economists. For twenty-five years Wallerstein had been in the forefront of rigorous analysis of the political economy of contemporary industrial societies. His research on relations between labor and capital, on labor organization, and on...
Book
Michael Wallerstein was a leader in developing a rigorous comparative political economy approach to understanding substantive issues of inequality, redistribution, and wage-determination. His early death from cancer left both a hole in the profession and a legacy that will surely provide the foundation for research on these topics. This volume coll...
Chapter
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Introduction This chapter begins where others have ended, namely, with the finding that poor people differ little in their attitudes toward democracy, their political values, and in the actual rates of electoral participation from those who are better off. Even if they may be more likely to see democracy in instrumental terms, the poor value democr...
Chapter
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The question studied here is whether political regimes, dichotomized as democracies and autocracies, affect the rate of growth of employment. But broader issues are at stake.
Article
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Why do some autocrats survive for decades, and others fall soon after taking power? The authors argue that when authoritarian rulers need to solicit the cooperation of outsiders or deter the threat of rebellion, they rely on political institutions. Partisan legislatures incorporate potential opposition forces, giving them a stake in the ruler's sur...
Article
The historical development of western civilization has produced several patterns of political opposition deeply rooted and relatively well established in the political systems. This opposition is usually identified with the control of the governed over the government : it is maintained that opposition is at the same time a sufficient and a necessar...
Article
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Democratic citizens are not equal but only anonymous, indistinguishable by any traits they may possess. Democracy only places a veil over distinctions that exist in society. Even the one sense in which equality can be said to characterise democracy-equality before the law-is derivative from anonymity: The law has to treat all citizens equally becau...
Article
Michael Wallerstein, the Charlotte Marion Saden Professor of Political Science at Yale University, died on January 7, 2006, at his home in New Haven. He was just short of his 55th birthday. The cause was glioblastoma multiforme, a brain cancer.
Article
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We ask what redistributions of income and assets are feasible in a democracy, given the initial assets and their distribution. The question is motivated by the possibility that if redistribution is insufficient for the poor or excessive for the rich, they may turn against democracy. In turn, if no redistribution simultaneously satisfies the poor an...
Article
Dictatorships are not all the same: some are purely autocratic but many exhibit a full panoply of seemingly democratic institutions. To explain these differences, we develop a model in which dictators may need cooperation to generate rents and may face a threat of rebellion. Dictators have two instruments: they can make policy concessions or share...
Article
Full-text available
O artigo indaga o quanto o mecanismo eleitoral pode, de fato, tornar mais representativas as instituições da democracia. Os autores diagnosticam sérias limitações no voto como mecanismo capaz de alavancar algum controle do representado sobre o representante.The issue of this article is how much the electoral mechanism can effectively make the insti...
Article
The issue of this article is how much the electoral mechanism can effectively make the institutions of democracy more representative. The authors single out some critical limitations for the constituents to enhance controlling mechanisms over their representatives.
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Seguindo Douglas North, os autores neoinstitucionalistas afirmam que as instituições são as causas "primordiais" do desenvolvimento econômico, "mais profundas" do que os fatores identificados pelo marxismo como "forças de produção". Embora essas duas perspectivas cheguem a conclusões diferentes, suas narrativas históricas pouco diferem. Este artigo...
Article
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Observation shows that while democracy is fragile in poor countries, it is impregnable in developed ones. To explain this pattern, I develop a model in which political parties propose redistributions of incomes, observe the result of an election, and decide whether to comply with the outcome or to launch a struggle for dictatorship. Democracy preva...
Article
Many new democracies and perhaps even some older democracies do not appear to be functioning as democracies should. Politicians ignore public opinion, go back on their campaign promises, and are not held accountable at elections. The five books under review chart a new research program that addresses these issues. They attempt to measure the presen...
Article
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Capitalism is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for democracy. This relation is historically contingent. It is true that democracy tends to prevail in the most developed capitalist countries. But this is not because capitalist development breeds democracy. The reason is that once democracy is present in wealthy societies, everyone has too...
Article
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Are government coalitions less frequent under presidentialism than under parliamentarism? Do legislative deadlocks occur when presidents do not form majoritarian governments? Are presidential democracies more brittle when they are ruled by minorities? We answer these questions observing almost all democracies that existed between 1946 and 1999. It...
Article
The main methodological problem in assessing the impact of political institutions on any kind of performance stems from the possibility that institutions may be endogenous. As a result, institutions cannot be matched for the conditions under which they function. Inferences from such non-experimental observations are subject to several biases and, i...
Article
Full-text available
Following Douglas North, neo-institutionalists claim that institutions are the “primary” cause of economic development, “deeper” than the supply of factors and methods for their use, which Marxists would call “forces of production”. Yet while the conclusion is different, the historical narratives differ little across these perspectives. How, then,...
Article
Abstract Autocratic regimes may be replaced by either new autocratic regimes or democratic regimes, but previous research has only looked at changes ,between ,democratic and non-democratic regimes where non-democracy ,is a residual category that lumps together both stable autocratic regimes and transitions between autocratic regimes. We develop hyp...
Article
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I review the controversy over the roles of geography and in- stitutions in economic development. Using the new data set of Maddison (2003) shows that the only major reversal of fortunes consisted of four British oshoots passing the income levels of the rest of the world: a …nding which, in my view, casts doubts on the importance of institutions. I...
Conference Paper
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"That institutions affect the performance of economies is hardly controversial. That the differential performance of economies over time is fundamentally influenced by the way institutions evolve is also not controversial".
Article
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Should democracts value the freedom to choose? Do people value facing distinct choices when they make collective decisions? ‘Autonomy’ – the ability to participate in the making of collective decisions – is a paltry notion of freedom. True, democrats must be prepared that their preferences may not be realized as the outcome of the collective choice...
Article
If democracy is to exist, at least one rule must be observed, namely the rule that specifies which of the political parties should occupy the office of government. My purpose is to investigate under what conditions political parties competing in elections obey their results. According to one view, people obey laws when they share a particular kind...
Book
An international group of specialists from the fields of law, politics, economics, and philosophy address the question of why governments act or do not act according to laws. The authors interpret the rule of law as a strategic choice of actors with powerful interests, rather than as an exogenous constraint on politicians. The rule of law emerges w...
Article
Economic theory deals with a complex reality, which may be seen through various perspectives, using different methods. Economics' three major branches – development economics, macroeconomics, and microeconomics – cannot be unified because the former two use preferentially a historical-deductive, while the later, an essentially hypothetical-deductiv...
Article
Full-text available
Os autores sustentam que fatores econômicos e institucionais são suficientes para gerar uma explicação convincente da dinâmica das democracias sem que seja necessário recorrer à cultura. Concluem que, embora possa haver boas razões para esperar que culturas importem, o material empírico disponível provê pouco apoio para a concepção de que a democra...
Article
Full-text available
The authors hold that economic and institutional factors are sufficient to generate a convincing explanation of the dynamic of democracies without any resource to culture. Their conclusion is that, while there may be good reasons to expect that culture matters, the available empirical evidence provides little support for the view that democracy req...
Article
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In most situations of bilateral cooperation we can observe only whether or not potential partners actually cooperate. Yet we often want to know what factors lead the actors to enter into and continue cooperation. The model we develop—a dynamic version of bivariate probit with partial observability—permits one to estimate the probabilities that eith...
Article
Full-text available
The paper is a summary of a research project concerning the impact of political institutions on economic development. Polit- ical regimes, dichotomized as democracies and dictatorships, do not aect the rate of growth of total income but, since population grows faster under dictatorships, per capita incomes grow faster under democracies. Finer grain...
Article
Full-text available
Are government coalitions less frequent under presidentialism than under parliamentarism? The only difference be w e the two systems is that unscheduled elections are held under parliamentarism in those situations in which under presidentialism a majority legislative coalition opposes the executive. In both systems, portfolio coalitions are formed...
Article
Full-text available
Quantitative cross-national comparisons usually are based on smaller N's. This implies that theory needs to be stronger and that counterfactuals need to be made explicit. Bayesian estimation is, in this situation, an attractive possibility. Because dependent variables are often categorical or limited, it is often preferable to use nonlinear models,...
Article
The legitimacy of modern democratic institutions rests on the ideal of popular sovereignty. The purpose of this paper is to examine the contemporary status of this ideal. Since space limitations do not permit discussion that would place the concept of popular sovereignty in its historical and intellectual context, we simply postulate a definition....
Book
Is economic development conducive to political democracy? Does democracy foster or hinder material welfare? These two questions are examined by looking at the experience of 135 countries between 1950 and 1990. Descriptive information, statistical analyses, and historical narratives are interwoven to gain an understanding of the dynamic of political...
Article
Using a bivariate, dynamic version of the Heckman selection model, we estimate the effect of participation in International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs on economic growth. We find evidence that governments enter into agreements with the IMF under the pressures of a foreign reserves crisis but they also bring in the Fund to shield themselves from t...
Article
¿Influyen las condiciones de la economía en las decisiones de voto de los individuos? El presente estudio se basa en datos individuales procedentes de 63 encuestas a lo largo de dieciséis años, abarcando 158.412 entrevistados. Analizando series temporales de la relación entre las valoraciones agregadas de la economía y las condiciones objetivas de...

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