Reputation-Based Governance

Synopsis

It would be easy to cheat someone on eBay. However, an essential characteristic of the site prevents this from happening: buyer and seller reviews form what amounts to an "index of reputation." The availability of such an index provides a strong incentive to be an honest trader.

Reputation-Based Governance melds concepts from businesses like eBay with politics. Author Lucio Picci uses interdisciplinary tools to argue that the intelligent use of widely available Internet technologies can strengthen reputational mechanisms and significantly improve public governance. Based on this notion, the book proposes a governance model that leans on the concept of reputational incentives while discussing the pivotal role of reputation in politics today. Picci argues that a continuous, distributed process of assessing policy outcomes, enabled by an appropriate information system, would contribute to a governance model characterized by effectiveness, efficiency, and a minimum amount of rent-seeking activity. Moreover, if citizens were also allowed to express their views on prospective policies, then reputation-based governance would provide a platform on which to develop advanced forms of participative democracy.

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