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Explaining Political Credibility: Conceptual Foundations

In: Political Credibility and Economic Development


  • Silvio Borner
  • Aymo Brunetti
  • Beatrice Weder


This chapter will start the analysis of the sources of political credibility by discussing mechanisms that reduce the discretionary powers of governments. The most primitive of the three basic mechanisms is reputation, which forms the basis of monarchical systems. This is enhanced by the second mechanism — openness, that is, an element of competition between countries. The most refined mechanism is institutionalised control through participation, which is at the heart of credibility in well-functioning democracies. This is not to imply, however, that there is some kind of natural order in these mechanisms, we are merely setting the stage for the following case studies by stating that different mechanisms exist to reduce discretionary power.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvio Borner & Aymo Brunetti & Beatrice Weder, 1995. "Explaining Political Credibility: Conceptual Foundations," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Political Credibility and Economic Development, chapter 5, pages 75-104, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:palchp:978-1-349-24049-4_5
    DOI: 10.1007/978-1-349-24049-4_5

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