Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 193–215

On the Durability of King and Council: The Continuum Between Dictatorship and Democracy

  • Roger D. Congleton

DOI: 10.1023/A:1011605310916

Cite this article as:
Congleton, R.D. Constitutional Political Economy (2001) 12: 193. doi:10.1023/A:1011605310916


In practice one rarely observes pure forms of dictatorship that lack a council, or pure forms of parliament that lack an executive. Generally government policies emerge from organizations that combine an executive branch of government, “the king,” with a cabinet or parliamentary branch, “the council.” This paper provides an explanation for this regularity, and also provides an evolutionary model of the emergence of democracy that does not require a revolution. The analysis demonstrates that the bipolar “king and council” constitutional template has a number of properties that gives it great practical efficiency as a method of information processing and as a very flexible institutional arrangement for making collective decisions.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger D. Congleton
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Study of Public ChoiceGeorge Mason UniversityUSA

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