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Democracies vs. Dictatorships

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita has a very strange world view. He sees democratic leaders as being akin to dictators—both want to stay in power. The only important difference between them is that dictators typically have to please a smaller group of people to stay in power than do the leaders of democracies.

In this podcast at EconTalk, Bueno de Mesquita looks at the implications of those similarities and differences for how democracies distribute foreign aid, the likelihood of China and Cuba becoming democratic, and the increased anti-Americanism coming out of Iran and Venezuela. He also explains why elections are not the real test of whether a political system is democratic.

Talking to Bruce has really changed the way I view political economy. Don’t miss it.