Spring 2000 Colloquia

Colloquia during Spring 2000:



Back to index

Monday, April 24, 2000

Last Session, Spring Series


Presented by Sujai Shivakumar, Visiting Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington

[Paper Co-authors: Giovanna Devetag and Paolo Legrenzi]

Abstract: Development, as an area of study that emerged in the post-imperial era, seeks to transform societies in the “third world” from an earlier to a later stage of human and economic development. The state assumes a critical role in considerations of this process. However, the constitutions of such states, as copied from models of western parliamentary and judicial systems, often do not resonate with how people within particular national borders actually identify and solve problems in association with each other. This is particularly true of many states in Africa. When lacking such an anchor, law becomes an instrument of coercion wielded from behind the escutcheon of the state; such systems of governance are prone to become predatory or fail all together.

In understanding the meaning of constitutions, we must distinguish with care between documents that set up an organizational mold for government and conditional frameworks for problem-solving that reveal the institutional constraints within which citizens associate in addressing each other’s needs. Here, unless individuals have standing within the public realm, they will not have the freedom and capability to craft rules to organize their institutional and real resources to attempt to realize in association with others their own well-being. This then brings up how, at what rule levels, and upon what relational basis, those who have such standing engage themselves to realize common benefits with others while at the same time protecting against exploitation from others.

Reconceptualizing development in a constitutional perspective therefore requires us to come to terms with a science of association. In so identifying the issue more carefully, we open vistas for robust inquiry and application as regards the essence of well-being in human civilizations.

Full text of the accompanying paper in PDF format


Back to index

Monday, April 17, 2000

Reasoning through Others’ Preferences Presented by 
Massimo Warglien, Professor of Decision Making and Business Economics, Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia, and Visitor at the School of Information, University of Michigan.

[Paper Co-authors: Giovanna Devetag and Paolo Legrenzi]

Abstract: The talk deals with reasoning about interactive decision making tasks. I will
argue that individuals construct partial mental models of games. In particular, I will focus
on the difficulty to represent simultaneously multiple preference relations when these are
not projective. This constrains the individual ability to edit a complete model of the game.
Most experimental work presented in the talk will concern simple, one-shot, two-person
strategic games. After showing some empirical evidence on cognitive difficulties to edit
models with non projective order relationships, I will argue that there are two prevailing
representation strategies emerging from the failure to reason through the complete game
structure. The first one ignores the strategic component of the game, focusing on the
subjects' own actions and preferences only. The second retains strategic thinking but
extracts a subset of the action space, constructed respecting a projectivity constraint.
I will also shortly discuss connections with issues of analogic transfer of mental models
across games.

Full text of the accompanying paper in PDF format


Back to index

Monday, April 10, 2000

Brian Martin, Associate Professor in the Science, Technology and Society Program, University of Wollongong, Australia

Abstract: When people speak out in the public interest, typically to expose corruption or dangers to the public, they often come under attack, being ostracized, harassed, threatened, reprimanded, demoted, transferred, dismissed and slandered. Official channels such as grievance procedures, ombudsmen and courts seldom help and often compound the difficulties. The experience of whistleblowers reveals a great deal about the dynamics of organizations and societies. In this talk, I draw on a number of case studies and my experience as president of Whistleblowers Australia.

Bio: Brian Martin has been involved with issues of dissent and whistleblowing for 20 years and has extensive experience with social movements. He helped found Dissent Network Australia and has been national president of Whistleblowers Australia. Dr Martin has a PhD in theoretical physics and now works as a social scientist at the University of Wollongong. He is the author of many books and 200 major articles in diverse fields, including suppression of dissent, scientific controversies, strategies for social movements, democracy, information technology and nonviolent action.

For additional information, you may refer to Brian Martin’s website on suppression of dissent at His website contains lots of relevant material, including his article entitled “Suppression of Dissent: What It Is and What to Do About It,” which can be found at

Full text of the accompanying unpublished article in PDF format


Back to index

Monday, April 3, 2000

Samuel Bowles, Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Abstract: Common individual human practices such as altruism or reciprocity may have arisen and persist-ed because individuals in groups where the practices were prevalent enjoyed the group benefits of the practices, even if those engaging in the practices did less well materially than their fellow group members eschewing them. But if this is the case, it is also likely that common social structural characteristics of groups have emerged and prolifer-ated in part because they protected those individuals engaging in group-beneficial but individually costly practic-es from exploita-tion by their fellow group members pursuing more individually selfish strate-gies. Groups whose structures minimized the costs of adopting group-beneficial behaviors may have been more likely to triumph in wars and to assimilate losing populations or to prosper and to experience more rapid population growth perhaps sending colonists to occupy new lands. Less successful groups may have simply emulated the more successful attempting to avert decline or defeat. An example of such group structural characteris-tic are leveling institutions, such as monogamy and food sharing among non-kin, and other practices which reduce within group differences in reproductive fitness or material well-being. Leveling institutions reduce the stakes of the game within groups-incompetent producers are fed, and there is a limit on the number of children powerful men can produce. Thus egalitar-ian structures may have attenuat-ed within group selective pressures operating against individu-ally costly but group-beneficial practices. The effect is that groups adopting these practices are favored in inter-group con-tests. In this case the ubiquity of group structural charac-teristics such as leveling institutions is explained by their contribu-tion to the proliferation of group-beneficial individual traits.

Bio: Samuel Bowles teaches economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Before coming to the University of Massachusetts in 1974, he had taught economics at Harvard since the mid 1960s. With various co-authors he has written Schooling in Capitalist America (1976), Democracy and Capitalism (1986), After the Waste Land: A Democratic Economics for the Year 2000 (1991), Understanding Capitalism: Competition, Command and Change (1993), Recasting Egalitarianism: New Rules for Markets, States and Communities (1998) and Economic Institutions and Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach to Microeconomics (2001), as well as numerous articles both academic and popular concerning economics, philosophy, political theory, public policy and sociology. He was an economic advisor to the Rev. Jesse Jackson during his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president in 1988. In recent years he has served as an economic advisor to the Congress of South African Trade Unions and was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to serve on South Africa’s Presidential Commission on the Labour Market. His current research interests include policies for the redistribution of wealth, the relationship between economic institutions and the evolution of culture and the theory of economic institutions and their evolution. He co-heads the research network on Inequality and Economic Performance. He was awarded a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1965.

Recent publications:

"The Moral Economy of Communities: Structured Populations and the Evolution of Pro-social Norms," Evolution and Human Behavior 19,1 (January 1998):3-25 (with Herbert Gintis).

"Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature XXXVI (March 1998):75-111.

"Wealth Inequality, Wealth Constraints and Economic Performance," in A. Atkinson and F. Bourguignon, Handbook of Income Distribution, (Amsterdam, North Holland, 2000, with Pranab Bardhan and Herbert Gintis).

"Is Equality Passé? The Evolution of Reciprocity and the Future of Egalitarian Politics," Boston Review (Fall 1998):4-10 (with Herbert Gintis).

Full text of the accompanying paper in PDF format

Back to index

Monday, March 27, 2000


 Presented by Robert Huckfeldt, Chair of the Department of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington

(Paper Co-Author: John Sprague)

Abstract: This paper focuses on collective processes of communication and deliberation among citizens as they unfold within the context of a presidential election campaign. We are particularly concerned with the extent to which higher levels of political interdependence among citizens serve to shield individuals from, or expose them to, the events of the campaign. The analysis is based on a study of citizens and their networks of political communication during the 1996 campaign, and it is divided into three distinct sections. First, we address the role of the election campaign in activating channels of social communication. Second, we evaluate the capacity of the campaign to eliminate political disagreement among citizens and thereby create political homogeneity within communication networks. Finally, we address the implications of political heterogeneity within communication networks for patterns of political influence among and between citizens.

Full text of the accompanying paper in PDF format


Back to index

Monday, March 20, 2000

Its Paradoxes and Western Misperception of Them

Presented by Alexander V. Obolonsky, Doctor of Law and Political Science, Head Research Fellow at the Institute of State and Law of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; and visiting Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Abstract: Not a pedantic logic of step-by-step formal analysis but a bizarre logic of paradoxes sometimes works better in social sciences, at least for purposes of explanation. Six paradoxes of recent Russian political and social life are offered below.

1. Paradox of supposed harm of easy victory over the Communist Regime.

2. Paradox of October 1993.

3. Paradox of Yeltsin.

4. Paradox of inherited bureaucracy.

5. Paradox of forbidden and betrayed love to West.

6. Paradox of prisoner release.

Back to index

Monday, March 6, 2000

The Role of the Bank for International Settlements

Presented by Michele Fratianni, W. George Pinnell Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Bloomington

(Paper Co-Author: John Pattison)


The international financial architecture (IFA) literature, in contrast to the literature on the international monetary system, is concerned with micro and institutional questions. These days, it is searching for a set of best principles and practices that may lower the risk of financial crises and spillover effects. Our paper considers what role the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) may play in the new IFA. The BIS is an old, yet relatively unknown, international organization. Originally created to provide a definitive framework for German war reparations, it quickly became a central banks’ club. With the end of the Bretton Woods system, the BIS lost many of its roles. But the Bank moved quickly into the field of international financial regulation and financial standards after the failure of Bankhaus Herstatt in 1974. Today the BIS, in contrast to the IMF, is an ascending institution because of its role in promulgating financial standards. We argue that a coordinated strategy to international regulation is superior to either national regulation or to an all-powerful World Financial Authority. A coordinated strategy involves setting minimum standards, through the auspices of the BIS Group. These standards will have to be adopted voluntarily by countries and will have to be enforced locally. Given the strong asymmetry of information in banking, the critical challenge of setting financial standards is in the implementation. Our implementation scheme relies on a combination of competition and dominant country position. A small group of countries has a disproportionate share of the international banking market and can exert strong leverage in inducing other countries to adopt minimum standards. There is also the need for an international organization to be a lender of last resort to those countries that, having adhered to the standards and having good fundamentals, are caught in financial turmoil through no fault of their own.


Back to index

Wednesday, March 1, 2000, at 4:00-5:30 p.m.


Presented by Professor He Zengke, Chair of the Department of Domestic Politics, China Center for Comparative Politics and Economics, Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, Beijing, China


The rampant corruption, especially at the local level, has become an important political issue in reforming China. I intend to use game theory and institutionalism theory to study the strategies of fighting against local corruption, which involves three players, national government, local governments, and local people. The fact that all three players suffer a lot from local corruption makes it possible and desirable to curb local corruption. There are at least three strategies to choose: the ‘top-down’ approach, the ‘mass-movement’ approach, and the ‘bottom-up’ democratic institutionalization approach. National government, local governments, and local people are respectively the victims of the first two strategies. This make it hard for the first two strategies to achieve success in the long term. From the point of view of game theory, all of the three players can benefit from the ‘bottom-up’ approach.The democratic institutionalization at the village level further supports this view. Therefore, my major argument in this paper is that curbing local corruption through institutional innovations toward local democracy and good governance is the best strategy to get a three-win outcome in the anti-corruption game.

Here is the full text of the working paper (in PDF format,


Back to index

Monday, February 28, 2000

Theory and Experimental Evidence

Presented by Jeffrey P. Carpenter, Professor at the Department of Economics, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont


Monitoring by peers in work teams, credit associations, partnerships, local commons situations, and residential neighborhoods is often an effective means of attenuating incentive problems. Most explanations of the incentives to engage in mutual monitoring rely either on small group size or on a version of the Folk theorem. We provide an explanation of mutual monitoring in single shot interactions among members of large teams. A key element of our approach is that when team members are residual claimants, some members are motivated by reciprocity norms to punish fellow members that shirk. We also conduct an experiment to explore the validity of our claims about the efficacy mutual monitoring. The experiment simulates team production and allows players to monitor and punish shirkers. To test the model’s predictions about the role of reciprocity and the informational effects of team size, we vary the residual claim of teams and information about other members of the team. Overall, we conclude that the model describes the data quite well.


Before you download

NOTE: There were some problems with page numbers and graphics while publishing these pages to the Web. For a hard-copy, contact Gayle Higgins.

Here is the full text of the working paper (in PDF format, 616KB).

Note: The appendix consists mainly of screen-shots that are very hard to read in PDF-format.

Here is the appendix in PDF format. (Size=1.1MB)

If you have a question regarding our Colloquium Series, please contact Gayle Higgins (tel 855-0441, email


Back to index

Monday, February 21, 2000

Applying the Polycentric Model

Presented by Susan E. Baer, Visiting Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington

(Paper Co-Author: Vincent L. Marando)


The polycentric model predicts that residents will locate to those local units that best meet their public goods and services preferences. Applying the polycentric model to the urban core, this paper finds that large cities are becoming increasingly reliant on sub-districts to provide supplemental public services that district residents desire such as security, sanitation, and economic development. The paper examines the creation of these city sub-districts, focusing on the recent creation of the Charles Village Community Benefits District in Baltimore, Maryland, as an empirical example, and it also examines service provision and production in this sub-district. The paper concludes with some observations on the equity implications of sub-districts for service delivery as well as their potential to help stem the trends of inner city instability and population loss.

Here is the full text of the working paper (in PDF format, 87KB).

Back to index

Monday, February 14, 2000

Top Down or Bottom Up?

Presented by Roy Gardner, Professor at the Department of Economics, Indiana University, Bloomington

(Paper Co-Authors: Christopher J. Waller and Thierry Verdier)


We study the degree of corruption in a hierarchical model of government. In particular, we explore the question of whether adding a layer of government simply increases the total amount of corruption or generates an organizational efficiency (via a principal-agent relationship between levels of government) that reduces the total amount of corruption. It is shown that when the after tax relative profitability of the formal sector as compared to that of the informal sector is high enough, adding a layer of government does in fact increase the total amount of corruption. On the other hand, for high enough public wages andan efficient monitoring technology of the bureaucratic system, 'centralization' of corruption at the top of the government hierarchy redistributes bribe income from the lower level to the upper level but actually reduces total corruption in the process.

Here is the full text of the working paper (in PDF format, 80KB).

Back to index

Monday, February 7, 2000

Four Propositions About Property Rights and Environmental Protection

Presented by Daniel H. Cole, Professor at the School of Law, Indiana University, Indianapolis


This paper argues four propositions about the relations between alternative property rights regimes and environmental protection: (1) All solutions to the “tragedy of the commons,” including government regulation of access and use, are property-based. (2) Private (individual or common) ownership of environmental goods is sometimes preferable for environmental protection. (3) Private (individual or common) ownership of environmental goods is not invariably preferable for environmental protection; in some circumstances the total costs of a public-ownership/regulatory regime are lower. And (4) private ownership of resource users and polluters may be far more important for effective environmental protection than private ownership of the environmental resources themselves.

Here is the full text of the working paper (in PDF format, 25KB).

Back to index

Monday, January 31, 2000

Partial Answers from International Relations Theory

Presented by Matthew Auer, Assistant Professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington


An important current of research in international environmental affairs deals with the roles of non-state actors in international environmental governance. For many, the growing influence of non-state actors is a welcome trend because these actors, especially non-governmental organizations, facilitate environmental negotiations between states and perform key information-gathering, dissemination, advocacy, and appraisal functions that states are either unwilling or unable to do. For the student of international relations (IR), examining the roles and responsibilities of non-state actors in global environmental affairs is a departure from the ordinary concern of that field-namely, the study of interstate behavior. But for the study of global environmental problems, particularly those problems that are simultaneously global and local, the investigator must map the influence of an even broader assemblage of actors. Little is known about how local level institutions or ordinary citizens fit into global environmental policy processes. Understanding what motivates public demands for global environmental quality is an especially important research task, especially for those pervasive environmental problems like global climate change and complex exhortations like sustainable development that require the attention and acquiescence of ordinary citizens.

A copy of the paper is available at the Workshop. His paper will not be published on our website.

Back to index

Monday, January 24, 2000

First Session, Spring Series


Presented by Lloyd Orr, Professor of Economics, and Robert Bent, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Indiana University, Bloomington



Professors Orr and Bent will be discussing chapters from a book they are editing. The Table of Contents follows:

Chapter 1. Introduction

Mission of the book: why it was written; what makes it original and different; what the reader should derive from reading it.

Chapter 2. The Science of Energy Transformations

What energy is; forms of energy; the first and second laws of thermodynamics; binding energy and mass-energy equivalence; models of growth; energy units.

Chapter 3. Future World Energy Needs and Resources

Population trends and projections; projected future world energy demand; realistic options for meeting this demand; entering a multi-energy era.

Chapter 4. The Environmental Impacts of Energy Use

Physical and ecological impacts of energy use on the environment; waste products from different energy technologies and their environmental effects; the need for increased energy inputs into the world-wide production of food; environmental constraints on energy use.

Chapter 5. Culture and Energy Consumption

Social, cultural, economic, and psychological variables that determine human needs and wants; a “multigenic” theory of consumption that accepts multiple types of causes of consumption as a basis for broad multi-stranded policies aimed at conserving and lowering consumption of energy.

Chapter 6. Protecting Future People: The Motivation Problem

How to motivate people to do what morality requires regarding the rights of future generations: motivation and particularity; community bonding and reciprocation; extended shared-fate motivation; the power of novel ideas. The development of an “ecological conscience” as the next step in the ethical evolution of mankind.

Chapter 7. Economic Growth and Sustainability

The functioning of economic systems; production and consumption as transformation processes; sustainability as the continual embodiment of technological change in the substitution of renewable human, physical and natural capital for depletable capital; the uncertain needs of future generations.

Chapter 8. Energy Policy

What policy is in a democratic society. Crisis as a mobilizer of public concern. Factors standing in the way of change. National vs. international energy policy. Energy policy epochs: the age of the engineer; the age of energy security; the environmental period.

Chapter 9. Summary

Limitations of knowledge and the degrees of uncertainty within which we have to work; where the boundaries of disciplinary investigations intersect; short-term vs. long-term views; new ways in which the problem needs to be perceived and understood; . . .

A copy of Robert Bent’s chapter (chapter 2, co-authored with Andrew Bacher) entitled “The Science of Energy Transformations” and Lloyd Orr’s chapter (chapter 7) entitled “Economic Growth and Sustainability” are available at the Workshop. Their chapters will not be published on our website.


Back to the Workshop Homepage
Copyright 1998, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis
Last updated:  February 29, 2000