23 August: Mikhail Freer (QSMS seminar)

The QSMS Research Group (BME) will be hosting two seminars this August 2022. One-to-one meetings with the speakers can be arranged; please contact the seminar organizers, Dr. Noémie Cabau (cabau.noemie@gtk.bme.hu) and Dr. Arseniy Samsonov (samsonov.arseniy@gtk.bme.hu).  

Mikhail Freer from the University of Essex (Department of Economics) will be presenting his paper Constitutional Design (co-authored with César Martinelli) on the 23rd of August 2022 at 4PM, Room QA406.  

Abstract: Constitution is the cornerstone of any democracy: defining both the basic rights of citizens and the rules of the political process. However, most political economy literature frequently overlooks the constitution as a whole, focusing on bargaining between legislator and executive. This paper expands the scope and considers all three branches of power in the constitutional mechanism. First, we show that the constitutional mechanism (even with the accountability of the executive and legislator) cannot be credible without the presence of the “fourth power” (civic society). However, this fourth power is not directly governed by the constitution, and to restore the credibility of the constitution, the two key features are (1) society is affected by the outcomes of legislative bargaining, and (2) the judiciary is responsive to public opinion. However, these features are not enough to restore the “efficiency” of the constitution; to do so, we need to ensure that society does not stop pressuring the government with just the resignation of the corresponding official but gets a more direct involvement in the further legislative bargaining.