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New book: Laws of Politics


Alfred G. Cuzán (University of West Florida), co-founder of the PollyVote (from which he retired last year), has a book named Laws of Politics, scheduled for publication in August. Here is the description from the publisher’s website:

Drawing on classic and contemporary scholarship and empirical analysis of elections and public expenditures in 80 countries, the author argues for the existence of primary and secondary laws of politics.

Starting with how basic elements of politics—leadership, organization, ideology, resources, and force—coalesce in the formation of states, he proceeds to examine the operations of those laws in democracies and dictatorships. Primary laws constrain the support that incumbents draw from the electorate, limiting their time in office. They operate unimpeded in democracies. Secondary laws describe the general tendency of the state to expand vis-à-vis economy and society. They exert their greatest force in one-party states imbued with a totalitarian ideology. The author establishes the primary laws in a rigorous analysis of 1,100 parliamentary and presidential elections in 80 countries, plus another 1,000 U.S. gubernatorial elections. Evidence for the secondary laws is drawn from public expenditure data series, with findings presented in easily grasped tables and graphs. Having established these laws quantitatively, the author uses Cuba as a case study, adding qualitative analysis and a practical application to propose a constitutional framework for a future Cuban democracy.

Written in an engaging, jargon-free style, this enlightening book will be of great interest to students and scholars in political science, especially those specializing in comparative politics, as well as opinion leaders and engaged citizens.

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