This paper examines the texts Jeremy Bentham wrote in 1788 and 1789 for the upcoming meeting of the Estates-General in France, focusing on the arrangement of a representative assembly. Bentham examined the problems of constitutional choice with an economic method, answering the fundamental questions of the efficiency of decisional mechanisms and of the correspondence between the interests of the representatives and that of the represented. The paper studies two problems in particular: that of the optimal degree of representation, and that of the role of bribery in elections. The optimal dimension of parliaments is established as a function of the probability that decisions are taken and that these decisions are useful. Anti-bribery laws are criticised with the radical argument that being willing to pay signals a strong commitment to political activity. The paper argues both that Bentham's place in the early history of collective choice should be restated, and that no retrospective reading is necessary to this end, since Bentham's economic approach is entirely embedded in his utilitarian philosophy.
|Autori:||Guidi, MARCO ENRICO LUIGI|
|Titolo:||Jeremy Bentham, the French Revolution, and the political economy of representation (1788 to 1789)|
|Anno del prodotto:||2010|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1080/09672560903552587|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|