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Machiavelli’s Possibility Hypothesis



This paper discusses the thesis that in Arrow’s Possibility Theorem the dictator (merely) serves as a solution to the logical problem of aggregating preference while Machiavelli’s dictator, the Prince, has the historical function to bring order into a world of chaos and thus make society ready for the implementation of a republican structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Manfred J. Holler & Alain Marciano, 2010. "Machiavelli’s Possibility Hypothesis," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 4(1), pages 018-031, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2010_018

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Manfred J. Holler, 2007. "The Machiavelli Program and the Dirty Hands Problem," Springer Books, in: Pio Baake & Rainald Borck (ed.), Public Economics and Public Choice, chapter 3, pages 39-62, Springer.
    2. Amadae, S.M., 2003. "Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226016535, May.
    3. Claude Hillinger, 2005. "The Case for Utilitarian Voting," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 23, pages 295-321.
    4. Manfred J. Holler, 2008. "Exploiting The Prince," Springer Books, in: Matthew Braham & Frank Steffen (ed.), Power, Freedom, and Voting, chapter 22, pages 421-438, Springer.
    5. Pio Baake & Rainald Borck (ed.), 2007. "Public Economics and Public Choice," Springer Books, Springer, number 978-3-540-72782-8, June.
    6. Bitros, George C. & Karayiannis, Anastassios D., 2010. "Morality, institutions and the wealth of nations: Some lessons from ancient Greece," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 68-81, March.
    7. Ken Binmore, 1994. "Game Theory and the Social Contract, Volume 1: Playing Fair," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262023636, December.
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    More about this item


    Dictator; aggregation of preferences; republic; democracy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches
    • B3 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology


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