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Federalism and SubsidiarityNOMOS LV$
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James E. Fleming and Jacob T Levy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479868858

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479868858.001.0001

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date: 14 December 2017

Foot Voting, Federalism, and Political Freedom

Foot Voting, Federalism, and Political Freedom

Chapter:
(p.83) 4 Foot Voting, Federalism, and Political Freedom
Source:
Federalism and Subsidiarity
Author(s):

Ilya Somin

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479868858.003.0004

This chapter examines foot voting as a tool for enhancing political freedom and its implications for federalism. It begins with a discussion of some of the limitations of ballot box voting compared to foot voting as a method of political choice, such as voters' inability to exercise choice over the basic structure of the political system and the presence of widespread rational political ignorance. It then considers some possible disadvantages of foot voting, including moving costs, the possibility of “races to the bottom,” and the problem of oppression of minority groups by subnational governments. It argues that the case for foot voting under federalism should be expanded “all the way down” to local governments and private communities, and “all the way up” to allow greater migration across international boundaries. Finally, the chapter highlights the advantages of “all the way down” decentralization for foot voting.

Keywords:   foot voting, political freedom, federalism, ballot box voting, political choice, moving costs, local governments, private communities, political ignorance, decentralization

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