Nimai Mehta is the Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer at Department of Mathematics and Statistics, American University, Washington, DC.
The Public Choice perspective sees politics as a continuation of market-type exchange by other means. In doing so, it challenges the romanticized notion of politics populated by individuals motivated by the “public interest”. Instead, it suggests that individuals behave in politics no differently than they do when pursuing their self-interest in markets. I will highlight key methodological and philosophical foundations that have informed the public choice perspective, along with some important predictive and normative insights that result when used to explore the nature of political transactions and the reason for rules – for the functioning of both, markets, and democracy.