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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 June 2016

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Uno dei temi piú problematici ed importanti dibattuti oggi nella scienza politica è l'orizzonte temporale dei regimi democratici. La sua problematicità consiste nel fatto che non si sa con certezza se l'esistenza di una forma democratica di governo influenzi l'orizzonte temporale dei regimi politici. È ipotesi assai frequente nella letteratura politologica degli ultimi venti anni, da Lippmann a Rawls, che i sistemi politici democratici siano affetti da miopia nel prendere le decisioni politiche, in quanto legati alle preferenze immediate dei cittadini. Questa ipotesi, per quanto interessante, non è però stata fino ad ora suffragata da sufficienti dati empirici.



In the last fifty years, many authors have maintained that democratic regimes are short-sighted in their policy-making process because they have to be responsible to short-term preferences of their citizens.

The purpose of this essay is, therefore, to analyze both the theoretical consistency of the hypothesis and the empirical evidence offered to support it. In particular, the author deals with three different theories about the short-sightedness of democratic regimes: political business cycle, electoral cycles and foreign policy decisions, public discount rate.

The present state of our knowledge does not confirm the various theories which, instead, seem to be conceptually weak and empirically irrelevant.

Copyright © Società Italiana di Scienza Politica 

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