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American Exceptionalism: An Appraisal—Political, Economic, Qualitative, and Quantitative

Lall B. Ramrattan and Michael Szenberg

The American Economist, 2017, vol. 62, issue 2, 222-246

Abstract: This article presents categorical, functional, and empirical arguments to appraise American Exceptionalism. We find these kinds of appraisals lacking in the literature, especially in areas such as politics, economics, history, and law where American Exceptionalism is most prevalent. First, we employ category theory to show how the structure of the arguments is related. Next, we specify functional relationships where it is possible to specify a model based on political, moral, psychological, and institutional foundations. Then six modal possibilities of physical, national, tyrannical, religious, constitutional, and economic nature emerge for further analysis. The focus then shifts to measurements, which enable empirical analyses of the three branches of government. Generally, while there is no shortage of criticism of American Exceptionalism, we are led to agree with Tocqueville that Americans are able to overcome their errors given the general openness of America’s institutions and political system.

Keywords: American Exceptionalism; United States; political system; institutions; government (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A10 E60 P17 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:sae:amerec:v:62:y:2017:i:2:p:222-246