Abstract

Abstract:

Over the past decades, the ability of liberal democracies around the world to translate popular views into public policy has declined. This is a result of two major developments: Legislatures have become less reflective of popular opinion because of the growing role of money in politics. At the same time, they have also become less powerful because of the growing importance of bureaucratic agencies, central banks, judicial review, free trade, and international institutions. But there are no easy solutions, since some of these institutions are needed to meet high expectations on government performance. The “technocratic dilemma” thus poses a real threat to liberal democracy’s ability to meet the public’s twin demands of responsiveness and performance.

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