Justin Buchler studies elections, political parties and Congress. He has written extensively on the nature of competitive elections and their place in democracy. His 2011 book, Hiring and Firing Public Officials: Rethinking the Purpose of Elections (Oxford University Press), argues that competitive elections are paradoxically unhealthy for democracy because they are not analogous to competitive markets. Rather, they are poor ways of hiring and firing people. Tossing a coin to decide whether or not to fire an employee is a bad way to operate, for a business or a country.
Professor Buchler’s articles on electoral competition include “The Social Sub-optimality of Competitive Elections,” in Public Choice, which won the Gordon Tullock Prize for 2007.
Currently, Professor Buchler’s research addresses the use of spatial theory to study elections, the asymmetric nature of partisan conflict, and the burden it places on journalism.
Professor Buchler currently blogs at theunmutual.blogspot.com