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The Architecture of Government


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. The political process; 3. Administrative efficiency; 4. Competition among governments; 5. Fiscal policy and redistribution; 6. Fiscal coordination and incentives; 7. Citizens and government; 8. Checks, balances, and freedom; 9. Acquiring and using knowledge; 10. Ethnic conflict and secession; 11. Data to the rescue?; 12. Conclusion: rethinking decentralization.

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Examines the most influential arguments about the consequences of political decentralization.

About the Author

Daniel Treisman is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of After the Deluge: Regional Crises and Political Consolidation in Russia (1999), and (with Andrei Shleifer) Without a Map: Political Tactics and Economic Reform in Russia (2000). A recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Hoover Institution, and the Smith Richardson Foundation, he has published broadly in academic journals including the American Political Science Review, the American Economic Review, the British Journal of Political Science, and World Politics, as well as policy journals such as Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. In 2007-8, Treisman will serve as Lead Editor of the American Political Science Review.


"This superb book deconstructs political decentralization. Shifting power from central to local governments is widely touted as the key instrument for the creation of effective, responsive government. The evidence does not support these claims, argues Treisman. Using game theory to probe the logic of arguments, and empirical research to test them, Treisman challenges the assumptions that underlie much of the common wisdom being disseminated to guide the design of public institutions. This book needs to be read by policy makers and researchers, from the World Bank to constitution writers and politically engaged citizens the world around." Peter Gourevitch, University of California, San Diego

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