Rational Voter - Drugs in Afghanistan

In 1957 Anthony Downs wrote An Economic Theory of Democracy in which he tried to imagine an electoral world in which everyone behaved rationally.  He concluded that from a strictly rational point of view there is no point in voting and that there is no point in expanding time and effort learning about politics, that in effect it was rational to be ignorant. In his new book The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies, Professor Brian Caplan develops the idea that voters are worse than ignorant, they are in fact irrational and vote accordingly. On the day before local and regional elections, Laurie Taylor is joined by Professor Bryan Caplan, and Paul Whiteley, Professor of Government at the University if Essex and Co-Director of the British Election Study to discuss whether electorates in democracies are ignorant and irrational, and if so whether it matters.

In 1999 Sociologist David MacDonald became the Drug Demand Reduction Specialist for the United Nations’s Afghanistan programme, working for a number of counter narcotics projects in Kabul. Since 2006 he has become an independent consultant on drugs and development. David Macdonald has just published a book called Drugs in Afghanistan: Opium, Outlaws and Scorpion Tales talks about the culture of heroin growth and use in contemporary Afghanistan.

Release date:

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Mon 7 May 2007 00:15

Download this programme

Download this episode

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes.