Public Choice Theory

The first volume of this important reference collection focuses on the economics of politics. It centres attention on key debates within the literature, counter-poising the approaches of the major schools with their differing theoretical methods and empirical emphasis. The importance of institutions is noted both in the selection of articles and in the introductory essay which offers a Virginian perspective on the subject. The second and third volumes focus on constitutional political economy - a research programme closely associated with the work of Gordon Tullock and James M. Buchanan, Nobel Laureate in 1986. It has become established as a major field of scholarship, fueled in part by the re-emergence of democracy in Eastern Europe and in Latin America, following decades of autocratic government. The book focuses attention on a range of approaches to the subject that have emerged from differing backgrounds of political philosophy. The selection of papers and the introductory essay both emphasize the importance of institutional relevance and recognize the constraints placed upon constitutional theorizing by the ever present forces of the political market place.