Keith Dowding

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For the Australian Presbyterian minister and Labor activist, see Keith Dowding (activist).
Keith Dowding
Keith Dowding in 2007.JPG
Keith Dowding
Born 1960
Institution Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Field Political science

Keith Dowding (born 1960) is Professor of Political Science in Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia arriving from the London School of Economics, UK in 2007. He has published widely in the fields of public choice, public administration, public policy, British politics, comparative politics, urban political economy, positive political theory and normative political philosophy. His work is informed by social and rational choice theories. He has been one of the editors of The Journal of Theoretical Politics (Sage) since 1996.

Early life[edit]

Downling obtained his BA in Philosophy and Politics from Keele University in 1982, and a DPhil from Nuffield College, Oxford University in 1987.[1]

Introduction to works[edit]

Keith Dowding is unusual in that he has influentially written in both political philosophy and mainstream empirical political science. Dowding is best known for his work on 'power', applying insights from formal analysis to central debates on the nature of power and structure of power in society. Expanding on Brian Barry's concept of 'luck' (getting what you want without trying) he argues that some groups of people are 'systematically lucky' in that they are advantaged because of the way society is structured. Such people are not powerful in the sense they have resources that they could use that other groups do not (though they might have this power 'as well') but rather systematically lucky in that they tend to get what they want without having to do anything. Alternatively, other groups are systematically unlucky. This argument has caused great controversy with critics including Brian Barry, Steven Lukes, Peter Morriss and more recently Andrew Hindmoor.

Dowding has also worked extensively on the Tiebout model of individuals moving location to get the local services they require, showing that such moving does occur in the UK though only to a small extent, and that people tend to move 'to' areas for service reasons, but do not decide to leave 'from' areas for those reasons. He has extended this work into examining Albert Hirschman's 'Exit, Voice and Loyalty' model and has a forthcoming Cambridge University Press book Exits, Voices and Social Investment co-authored with long-time collaborator Peter John extending and applying Hirschman's model to citizen satisfaction with government services.

More recently his work has examined why UK cabinet ministers resign based on a large dataset of all UK ministerial resignations and non-resignations, and compiled another on Australia. Following his lead similar datasets are being compiled by scholars all round the world for intensive comparative analysis.

Recent activity[edit]

Recently Dowding left LSE and joined the political science programme in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University (ANU) as a Research Professor of Political Science in July 2007 moving to the School of Politics and International Relations when the Arts Faculty coalesced with the Research School. He is the Chair of a network of scholars Selection and De-selection of Political Elites (SEDEPE) who are interested in the career paths of political elites http://sedepe.net/.

The Careers of Cabinet Ministers[edit]

This project comes under the rubric of SEDEPE. Dowding’s work so far has largely been concerned with ministers in the British Cabinet and thus far largely concerned with their resignations. But now he is working to extend this work into the careers of ministers more broadly, and to extend its scope beyond the UK most notably into ministers in the Australian states and Commonwealth government. Publications from this project include the following:

  • Samuel Berlinski, Torun Dewan and Keith Dowding : 'The Length of Ministerial Tenure in the UK, 1945-1997', British Journal of Political Science, vol 37, no. 2, 2007, pp. 245-262.
  • Torun Dewan and Keith Dowding : 'The Corrective Effect of Ministerial Resignations on Government Popularity’ (with), American Journal of Political Science, vol. 49, no. 1 (January) 2005, pp. 46-56.
  • Keith Dowding and Won-Taek Kang : 'Ministerial Resignations 1945-97', Public Administration, vol. 76, no. 3, 1998, pp. 411-29.
  • Keith Dowding and Patrick Dumont (eds.) : The Selection of Ministers in Europe: Hiring and Firing (London: Routledge), 2009.
  • Keith Dowding and Elizabeth McLeay ‘The Firing Line: When and Why Do Prime Ministers Fire Ministerial Colleagues?’ in Paul ’t Hart and John Uhr eds "How Power Changes Hands: Transition and Succession in Government" Houndmills Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011, pp. 157-173
  • Samuel Berlinski, Torun Dewan and Keith Dowding ‘The Impact of Individual and Collective Performance on Ministerial Tenure’ Journal of Politics vol. 72, no 1, 2010, pp 1-13
  • Samuel Berlinski, Torun Dewan and Keith Dowding "Accounting For Ministers" Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012


Analytical Account of Freedom and Rights[edit]

This is a joint work in collaboration with Martin van Hees. The object is to complete a book on the measurement of freedom and rights. Publications from this project include the following:

  • Keith Dowding 'Republican Freedom, Rights and the Coalition Problem’ Politics, Philosophy and Economics Vol. 10, No. 3, (August) 2011, pp. 301-322.
  • Keith Dowding‘Luck, Equality and Responsibility’ Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy vol 13, no 1, (March) 2010, pp. 71-92, reprinted in Matt Matravers and Lukas Meyer eds Democracy, Equality and Justice London: Routledge, 2010
  • Keith Dowding and Martin van Hees : ‘Poverty and the Local Contingency of Universal Rights’, International Social Science Journal, 180 (June) 2004, pp. 301-312.
  • Keith Dowding ‘Social Choice and the Grammar of Rights and Freedoms’, Political Studies, vol. 52, no 1 (March) 2004, pp. 144-161.
  • Keith Dowding and Martin van Hees ‘The Construction of Rights’, American Political Science Review, vol. 97, no. 2 (May) 2003, pp. 281-293.

Work on Amartya Sen[edit]

Dowding is fascinated by empirical measurement of freedom and rights. He has worked as part of a team led by Paul Anand, Open University, UK. They have been empirically examining Amartya Sen’s capability approach through survey data ('Capabilities and Well-Being: Operationalizing the Capabilities Framework'). This research was supported by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Board. Currently he is writing a book on the works of Amartya Sen which is expected to be published soon.

  • Keith Dowding ‘What is Welfare and How Might it Be Measured?’ in Don Ross and Harold Kincaid eds Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Economics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 511-539.

Publications[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Dowding, Keith (1991). Rational Choice and Political Power (Hardcover). Edward Elgar.  ISBN 1-85278-335-4
  • Dowding, Keith (1995). Civil Service, The (Theory and Practice in British Politics). Routledge.  ISBN 0-415-07568-8
  • Dowding, Keith (1995). Preferences, Institutions, and Rational Choice. Oxford University Press.  ISBN 0-19-827895-0
  • Dowding, Keith (1996). Power (Concepts in Social Thought). University of Minnesota Press.  ISBN 0-8166-2941-2
  • Dowding, Keith (2004). Jurgen de Wispelaere, Stuart White, ed. The Ethics of Stakeholding. Palgrave Macmillan.  ISBN 1-4039-0580-0
  • Dowding, Keith (2004). Robert E. Goodin, Carole Pateman, ed. Justice and Democracy: Essays for Brian Barry. Cambridge University Press.  ISBN 0-521-83695-6
  • Dowding, Keith (2009). Patrick Dumont, ed. The Selection of Ministers in Europe: Hiring and Firing. Routledge. 
  • Dowding, Keith (2009). Torun Dewan and Kenneth A. Shepsle, ed. Rational Choice Politics, Volume I: Social Choice, Equilibrium and Electoral Systems. Sage. 
  • Dowding, Keith (2009). Torun Dewan and Kenneth A. Shepsle, ed. Rational Choice Politics, Volume II: Voting, Elections and Pressure Politics. Sage. 
  • Dowding, Keith (2009). Torun Dewan and Kenneth A. Shepsle, ed. Rational Choice Politics, Volume III: Legislatures. Sage. 
  • Dowding, Keith (2009). Torun Dewan and Kenneth A. Shepsle, ed. Rational Choice Politics, Volume IV; Bureaucracy, Constitutional Arrangements and the State. Sage. 
  • Dowding, Keith (2011). Encyclopedia of Power. Sage. 

Chapters in books[edit]

  • ‘Running the Civil Service’ in 'Running the Country', Milton Keynes, Open University, 1991, pp. 89-120.
  • ‘Government at the Centre’ in Patrick Dunleavy Andrew Gamble, Ian Holliday and Gillian Peele (eds) Developments in British Politics 4, London: Macmillan, 1993, pp. 175-193.
  • ‘Managing the Civil Service’ in G. Thompson and R. Maidment (eds) Managing the UK, London: Sage, 1993, pp. 236-257.
  • ‘Institutional Persistence and Change at the Core of British Government’ in Hans Kastendiek and Richard Stinshoff (eds) Changing Conceptions of Constitutional Government: Developments in British Politics and the Constitutional Debate since the 1960s, Bochum: Universitatsverlag Dr. N. Brockmeyer, 1994, pp. 95-113.
  • ‘Rational Mobilization’ in Patrick Dunleavy and James Stanyer(eds), Contemporary Political Studies 1994 Vol 2, Belfast: Political Studies Association of the UK, 1994.
  • ‘Policy Networks: Don't Take a Good Idea Too Far’ in Patrick Dunleavy and Jeffrey Stanyer (eds), Contemporary Political Studies, 1994, Vol 1, Belfast: UK Political Studies Association, 1994.
  • ‘Introduction’ (with Desmond King) in Keith Dowding and Desmond King (eds)Preferences, Institutions and Rational Choice, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1995, pp. 1-19.
  • ‘Interpreting Formal Coalition Theory’ in Keith Dowding and Desmond King (eds) Preferences, Institutions and Rational Choice, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1995, pp. 43-59.
  • ‘Public Choice and Local Governance’ in Desmond King and Gerry Stoker (eds) Rethinking Local Democracy, London, Macmillan, 1996, pp. 91-116.
  • ‘Production, Disbursement and Consumption: the Modes and Modalities of Goods and Services’ (with Patrick Dunleavy) in Stephen Edgell, Kevin Hetherington and Alan Warde (eds) Consumption Matters, Oxford: Blackwell, 1996, pp. 36-65.
  • ‘Secession and Isolation’ in Percy Lehning (ed) Theories of Secession, London: Routledge, 1998, pp. 71-91.
  • ‘Model or Metaphor? A Critical Review of the Policy Network Approach’ in R. A. W. Rhodes (ed.) The International Library of Politics and Comparative Government: United Kingdom,Volume 1, Ashgate: Aldershot and Vermont, 2000, pp. 173-195.
  • ‘Model or Metaphor? A Critical Review of the Policy Network Approach’ in Patrick Dunleavy, P. J. Kelly and Michael Moran (eds) British Political Science: Fifty Years of Political Studies, Oxford: Blackwells, 2000, pp. 196-213. (Abridged version of Political Studies, vol. 43, no. 1, 1995, pp. 136-58.)
  • ‘Understanding Urban Governance: The Contribution of Rational Choice’ (with Patrick Dunleavy, Desmond King, Helen Margetts and Yvonne Rydin) in Gerry Stoker ed. Power and Participation: the New Politics of Local Governance, London: Macmillan, 2000, pp. 91-116.
  • ‘Introduction’ (with James Hughes and Helen Margetts) in Keith Dowding, James Hughes and Helen Margetts (eds) Challenges to Democracy, London: Palgrave, 2001, pp. xi-xvii.
  • ‘Model or Metaphor? A Critical Review of the Policy Network Approach’ in John Scott (ed) Social Networks: Critical Concepts in Sociology vol 4: Applications: Political Protest and Policy Networks, London: Routledge, 2002.
  • ‘A Rational Choice Approach to Political Power’ in Kate Nash and Alan Scott (eds) Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology, Oxford: Blackwell, 2001, pp. 29-39; 2nd edn 2004.
  • ‘Rational Choice and Institutional Change: An Overview of Current Theories’ in Bernard Steunenberg (ed.) Widening the European Union, London: Routledge, 2002, pp. 21-38.
  • ‘The Civil Service’ in Jonathan Hollowell (ed.) Britain Since 1945, Oxford: Blackwell, 2002, pp.179-193.
  • ‘Rational Choice and Trust’ in Preston King (ed.) Trusting in Reason: Martin Hollis and the Philosophy of Social Action, London: Frank Cass, 2003, pp. 207-220. (Reprint of Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy Vol. 4, No. 4, 2001.)
  • ‘Stakeholding – A New Paradigm in Social Policy’ (with Jurgen De Wispelaere and Stuart White) in Keith Dowding, Jurgen De Wispelaere and Stuart White (eds) The Ethics of Stakeholding, London: Palgrave, 2003, pp. 1-28.
  • ‘Introduction: Between Justice and Democracy’ (with Robert E. Goodin and Carole Pateman) in Keith Dowding, Robert E. Goodin and Carole Pateman (eds) Justice and Democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • 'Are Democratic and Just Institutions the Same?’ in Keith Dowding, Robert E. Goodin and Carole Pateman (eds) Justice and Democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Articles[edit]

  • Republican Freedom, Rights and the Coalition Problem’ Politics, Philosophy and Economics Vol. 10, No. 3, (August) 2011, pp. 301-322.
  • ‘What is the Idea of Justice?’ Indian Journal of Development Vol 5, No 1 (Jan-June) 2011, pp. 83-98
  • ‘Policy Agendas in Australian Politics: The Governor-General’s Speeches, 1945-2008’ (with Andrew Hindmoor, Richard Iles, and Peter John) Australian Journal of Political Science vol. 45, no 4 (Dec) 2010, pp. 533-557
  • ‘The Impact of Individual and Collective Performance on Ministerial Tenure’ (with Samuel Berlinski and Torun Dewan) Journal of Politics vol. 72, no 1, 2010, pp 1-13
  • ‘Luck, Equality and Responsibility’ Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy vol 13, no 1, (March) 2010, pp. 71-92
  • ‘Shirking and Shifting: Principal-Agent Problems in Local Bureaucracies’ (with Rotem Bressler-Gonen), Urban Affairs Review, vol. 44, no. 6, 2009, pp. 807-831
  • ‘The Value of Choice in Public Policy’ (with Peter John) Public Administration vol. 87, no 2, 2009, pp. 219-233
  • Dowding, Keith; van Hees, Martin; Anand, Paul; Hunter, Graham; Carter, Ian; Guala, Francesco (2009). "The development of capability indicators". Journal of Human Development and Capabilities (Taylor and Francis) 10 (1): 125–152. doi:10.1080/14649880802675366. 
  • Dowding, Keith; van Hees, Martin (July 2007). "Counterfactual success and negative freedom". Economics and Philosophy (Cambridge Journals) 23 (2): 141–162. doi:10.1017/S0266267107001344. 
  • Dowding, Keith; van Hees, Martin (March 2008). "Counterfactual success again: response to Carter and Kramer". Economics and Philosophy (Cambridge Journals) 24 (1): 97–103. doi:10.1017/S0266267108001697. 
  • ‘A Pandemonium of Confusions: Kay and Marsh on Tiebout’ New Political Economy vol. 13, no 3, (September) 2008, pp. 335-348
  • ‘Power, Capability and Ableness: The Fallacy of the Vehicle Fallacy’ Contemporary Political Theory vol. 7, no 3 (August) 2008, pp. 238-258
  • ‘Why Are Inheritance Taxes Unpopular?’ Political Quarterly vol 79, no 2 (April/June) 2008, pp. 179-183.
  • ‘The Three Exit, Three Voice and Loyalty Framework: A Test with Survey Data on Local Services’ (with Peter John) Political Studies vol. 56., no 2, 2008 pp. 288-311
  • ‘Agency and Structure: Interpreting Power Relationships’, Journal of Power, vol. 1, no 1, 2008, pp. 21-36
  • Dowding, Keith; van Hees, Martin (January 2008). "In praise of manipulation". British Journal of Political Science (Cambridge Journals) 38 (1): 1–15. doi:10.1017/S000712340800001X. 
  • ‘Defensa de la Preferencia Revelada’ (‘In Defence of Revealed Preference Theory’ trans. Fernando Aguiar) Revista Internacional de Sociología vol LXVI, no 49 (Enero-Abril) 2008, pp. 9-31
  • ‘The Length of Ministerial Tenure in the UK, 1945-1997’ (with Samuel Berlinski and Torun Dewan) British Journal of Political Science, vol. 37, no. 2, 2007, pp. 245-262
  • ‘Can “Capabilities” Reconcile Freedom and Equality?’ Journal of Political Philosophy, vol.14, no.3, 2006, pp. 323-336.
  • ‘Can Populism Be Defended? William Riker, Gerry Mackie and the Interpretation of Democracy’ Government and Opposition, vol. 41, no.3 (Summer) 2006, pp. 327-346.
  • ‘The D-Term: A Reply to Stephen Parsons’ British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 8, no.2 (May) 2006, pp. 299-302.
  • ‘A Political Economy Approach to the Study of British Politics’ British Politics, vol. 1, no.1 (April) 2006, pp. 26-43.
  • ‘Why do People Vote? Five Types of Answer and a Suggestion’ British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 7, no. 3 (July) 2005, pp. 442-459.
  • ‘The Corrective Effect of Ministerial Resignations on Government Popularity’ (with Torun Dewan), American Journal of Political Science, vol. 49, no. 1 (January) 2005, pp. 46-56.
  • ‘The Bidding Game: Competitive Funding Regimes and the Political Targeting of Urban Programme Schemes’ (with Peter John and Hugh Ward) British Journal of Political Science, vol. 34, no 3 (July) 2004, pp.405-428.
  • ‘Poverty and the Local Contingency of Universal Rights’ (with Martin van Hees) International Social Science Journal, 180 (June) 2004, pp. 301-312.
  • ‘Interpretation, Truth and Investigation: Comments on the Interpretative Political Science of Bevir and Rhodes’ British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 6. no. 2, (May) 2004, pp. 136-142, 161-164.
  • ‘Social Choice and the Grammar of Rights and Freedoms’, Political Studies, vol. 52, no 1 (March) 2004, pp. 144-161.
  • ‘Analysing Bureau-Shaping Models: Comments on Marsh, Smith and Richards’ (with Oliver James), British Journal of Political Science, vol. 34, no. 1 (Jan) 2004, pp. 183-189.
  • ‘Fragmentation, Fiscal Mobility and Efficiency’ (with Thanos Mergoupis), Journal of Politics, vol. 61, no. 4 (Nov) 2003, pp. 1190-1207.
  • ‘Resources, Power and Systematic Luck: A Response to Barry’ Politics, Philosophy and Economics, vol. 2, no. 3 (Oct) 2003, pp. 305-322.
  • ‘The Construction of Rights’ (with Martin van Hees) American Political Science Review, vol. 97, no. 2 (May) 2003, pp. 281-293.
  • ‘The Exit of Residential Mobility or the Voice of Political Action? Understanding Problem-Solving in Residential Communities’ (with Mark van Vugt, Eric van Dijk and Peter John), Journal of Applied Social Psychology, vol. 33, no. 2, 2003, pp. 321-338.
  • ‘Revealed Preference and External Reference’, Rationality and Society, vol. 14, no. 3, (August) 2002, pp. 257-282.
  • ‘Rational Choice and Trust’ Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, vol. 4, no. 4, 2001, pp. 207-220.
  • ‘Explaining Urban Regimes’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 25, no. 1, (March) 2001, pp. 7-19
  • ‘There Must Be End to Confusion: Policy Networks, Intellectual Fatigue, and the Need for Political Science Methods Courses in British Universities’, Political Studies, vol. 49, no. 1 (March) 2001, pp. 89-105.
  • ‘Rooflessness in London’ (with Desmond King), Policy Studies Journal, vol. 28, no. 2, 2000, pp. 365-381
  • ‘Exit, Voice and Loyalty: Analytic and Empirical Developments’ (with Peter John, Thanos Mergoupis and Mark Van Vugt), European Journal of Political Research, vol. 37, no. 4, 2000, pp. 469-495.
  • ‘How Not to Use Evolutionary Theory in Politics: A Critique of Peter John’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 2, no. 1, (April) 2000, pp. 72-80.
  • ‘Institutionalist Research on the European Union’, European Union Politics, vol. 1, no. 1, (Feb) 2000, pp. 125-144

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Professor Keith Dowding". Australian National University. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 

External links[edit]