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Ideology, Democracy and the Limits of Equilibrium: A Schumpeterian Critique

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 March 2001

Department of Political Science, California State University, Northridge.


Joseph Schumpeter's elite conception of democracy has inspired many political scientists to use the tools of equilibrium analysis to model democracy. But Schumpeter devoted much of his career as an economist to critiquing and transcending the limitations of equilibrium models. In particular, he became convinced that the equilibrium models of neoclassical economics could not adequately capture innovation as a dynamic force at the heart of capitalism. A new use of Schumpeter's critique shows that equilibrium models of democracy are similarly limited in their ability to capture the innovative creation and deployment of democratic ideologies as a source of political dynamism.

Original Article
© 2001 Cambridge University Press

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