Politics Philosophy and Economics Integration 1
With reference to ‘choice theory’, broadly construed, answer one of the
1. Why (if at all) do rational actors need the state? What are the normative
implications of your answer?
2. Do the inefficiencies associated with majority rule justify a heavily
3. Is the Australian ‘alternative vote’ better than its rivals?
4. Does justice demand that the basic structure of society be arranged according
to the maximin criterion?
5. Should national electoral systems have single-member constituencies? Or
should they be multi-member?
6. Critically assess Riker’s (1982) endorsement of the Washington constitutional
model over the Westminster alternative.
7. Is the level of world greenhouse gas emissions a Nash equilibrium of a simple
game? What does this tell us about proposed solutions?
8. Should we curb log-rolling in legislatures? Discuss with reference to
Buchanan and Tullock (1962).
9. How pernicious is rent-seeking in a democracy? Can it be avoided?
10. Niskanen (1972) argues bureaucrats will seek to maximize their department’s
budgets in inefficient ways. Is public service reform required in light of his
11. In “Ending Footbinding and Infibulation,” Mackie discusses a number of
belief traps. What is another politically salient example of a belief trap and
what does this imply about the case?
12. Does Arrow’s theorem show that populism is misguided?
13. To what extent should the state provide and regulate public goods? Discuss
with reference to Ostrom (1990).
14. Can we consistently commit to both liberal rights and welfare maximisation?
15. Is weak or strong party discipline to be preferred in majoritarian political
systems? Discuss with reference to the paradoxes of representation.
16. Will proportional electoral systems incentivize minimal winning coalitions?
Is this desirable?