The Political Power of Bad Ideas: Networks, Institutions, and the Global Prohibition Wave

The Political Power of Bad Ideas: Networks, Institutions, and the Global Prohibition Wave

Mark Lawrence Schrad


In The Political strength of undesirable Ideas, Mark Schrad makes use of one of many maximum oddities of recent history--the vast diffusion in the course of the Western global of alcohol-control laws within the early 20th century--to make a robust argument approximately how undesirable coverage principles in achieving foreign good fortune. His might an concept that used to be widely known by means of specialists as undesirable earlier than adoption, and which finally failed all over, grow to be followed during the international? to respond to the query, Schrad makes use of an institutionalist method and focuses particularly at the usa, Sweden, and Russia/the USSR.

Conventional knowledge, dependent principally at the U.S. event, blames evangelical zealots for the luck of the temperance circulation. but as Schrad exhibits, ten international locations, in addition to a variety of colonial possessions, enacted prohibition legislation. In almost each case, the results have been disastrous, and in each kingdom the legislations used to be finally repealed. Schrad concentrates at the dynamic interplay of principles and political associations, tracing the method by which ideas of doubtful benefit achieve momentum and attain credibility as they wend their means via institutional constructions. He additionally exhibits that nationwide coverage and institutional environments count number: the coverage can have been commonly followed, yet international locations handled the difficulty in several methods.

While The Political strength of undesirable Ideas makes a speciality of one mythical episode, its argument approximately how and why undesirable regulations in achieving legitimacy applies way more widely. It additionally extends past the simplistic proposal that "ideas subject" to teach how they impact institutional contexts and have interaction with a nation's political actors, associations, and coverage dynamics.

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