Lethal incompetence: Voters, officials, and systems

Jonathan Bendor*, John G. Bullock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The study of voter competence has made significant contributions to our understanding of politics, but at this point there are diminishing returns to the endeavor. There is little reason, in theory or in practice, to expect voter competence to improve dramatically enough to make much of a difference, but there is reason to think that officials' competence can vary enough to make large differences. To understand variations in government performance, therefore, we would do better to focus on the abilities and performance of officials, not ordinary citizens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalCritical Review
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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