Progressive Democracy: the ideology of the modern predatory state

  • Randall G. HolcombeEmail author


The state must expend resources to credibly threaten the use of force, and the actual use of force is more costly than just exercising the threat. A population that views itself as prey to a predatory state will resist the state’s demands and will not produce much that the state can appropriate. The predatory state will be more successful if it can convince its citizens that the state’s activities are in the public interest, which will enhance voluntary compliance with the state’s mandates and lessen the need for the state to invest resources in overt coercion. The ideology of “Progressive Democracy” encourages citizens to cooperate with the state, and legitimizes the state’s predatory activities. The ideology of Progressivism justifies the imposition of costs on some for the benefit of others. The ideology of democracy implies that when a democratic government does this, it is acting in the public interest.


Democracy Progressivism Predatory state Contractarianism Political ideology Politics as exchange 



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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