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Guiding principles for ensuring that central bankers and other unelected policymakers remain stewards of the common good

Tucker, Paul

Unelected Power

The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State


    57,95 € / $65.75 / £51.00*

    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
    Copyright year:
    To be published:
    September 2019
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    Aims and Scope

    How central banks and independent regulators can support rather than challenge constitutional democracy

    Unelected Power lays out the principles needed to ensure that central bankers and other independent regulators act as stewards of the common good. Blending economics, political theory, and public law, this critically important book explores the necessary conditions for delegated but politically insulated power to be legitimate in the eyes of constitutional democracy and the rule of law. It explains why the solution must fit with how real-world government is structured, and why technocrats and their political overseers need incentives to make the system work as intended. Now with a new preface by Paul Tucker, Unelected Power explains how the regulatory state need not be a fourth branch of government free to steer by its own lights, and how central bankers can emulate the best of judicial self-restraint.


    656 pages
    Professional and scholarly;College/higher education;

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    Paul Tucker is a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and chair of the Systemic Risk Council.


    "Masterful."—Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate

    "Tucker is right to demand a return to clear mandates for independent agencies, set and monitored by elected politicians."—Tim Harford, Financial Times

    "Reconstruct[s] from the ground up the case for the legitimate exercise of unelected power. . . . Of fundamental importance to anyone interested in the future of liberal democracy."—Felix Martin, New Statesman

    "Profoundly important. . . . Of the many books written by those involved in responding to the financial crisis, his may deserve the longest shelf life."—Lawrence H. Summers, Washington Post

    "The most compelling recent exploration of the constitutional problems posed by an independent central bank in a democracy. . . . A thought-provoking read."—Joseph C. Sternberg, Wall Street Journal

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