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Liberalism and great upheaval: What did classical liberals do in the Tsarist Russia?

Leonid Krasnozhon () and Mykola Bunyk
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Leonid Krasnozhon: Loyola University New Orleans
Mykola Bunyk: Lviv Regional Institute of Public Administration

Constitutional Political Economy, 2019, vol. 30, issue 1, 96-113

Abstract: Abstract Efficient constitutional change depends on ability of bargaining parties to overcome such inherent problems of political change as commitment and credibility (Galiani et al. in J Econ Behav Organ 103:17–38, 2014; Congleton in Perfecting parliament: constitutional reform, liberalism, and the rise of western democracy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011; Boettke and Coyne in J Inst Econ 5(1):1–23, 2009). This paper studies how constitutional bargaining leads to a negative sum-game in a transitional illiberal environment. We use a historical example of the Russian constitutional monarchy (1905–1917) to demonstrate that an exchange-based constitutional change within the king-council model leads to an inefficient outcome when bargaining parties fail to trade political authority for policy results. The historical example of the Russian constitutional monarchy shows how both radicalization of the liberal parliamentary majority and pseudo-constitutionalism of Nicholas II undermined efficiency of the legislative assembly. We also find that nationality-based politics undermined the constitutional bargaining by radicalizing both the liberal movement and the tsar.

Keywords: Liberalism; Constitutional monarchy; Russia; Nicholas II; Ukraine (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B13 B15 B31 B53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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