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One of the fundamental building blocks in the analysis of political phenomena is the representation of preferences. Without some means of capturing the essence of goals and trade-offs for individual choices, the mechanics of the public choice method are stalled. While there are many ways of representing preferences, the single most commonly used approach is the “spatial” model. The idea of conceiving preference in a kind of “space” is actually quite ancient, as the quote from Aristotle’s Politics below shows. Furthermore, there are hints of several topics of modern spatial theory, including the power of the “middle,” and the problem of instability in political processes.

Keywords

Public Choice Social Choice Spatial Model Spatial Theory Social Choice Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melvin J. Hinich
  • Michael C. Munger

There are no affiliations available

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