Sunday, March 8, 2009

Constraining the state's ability to employ force

"Constraining the state's ability to employ forces: the standing army debates, 1697-99" by Shawn Humphrey and Bradley A. Hansen was just accepted by the Journal of Institutional Economics.

Abstract: Britain's Glorious Revolution of 1688 is one of the most widely studied cases of institutional change. Recent institutional analyses of the Glorious Revolution, however, have failed to address one of the central issues in political science: control of the state’s comparative advantage in violence. This paper examines this issue through analysis of the standing army debates of the late 1690s. Participants in the debates disputed whether a standing army or a militia would be the most effective institutional arrangement to guard against threats from abroad and tyranny at home. Both sides of the debate analyzed the effects of a standing army in terms of the incentives that it created for soldiers, citizens, the monarch, and foreign governments.

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