Björn Wahlroos: Markets and Democracy

Market and Democracy (Finnish title: markkinat ja demokratia – enemmistön tyrannian loppu) was
published in 2012 and got mixed reception in Finland. I don’t know about international attention Wahlroos’ book possibly got – actually it was written in English and then translated into finnish/swedish.

The main argument of the book is that there are three main models of governance: hierarchy, democracy and markets. Wahlroos builds his argumentation around these three models – of course favouring liberal markets as the champion. Despite of long academic and polemic argumentation Wahlroos’ main argument is building around the point that democracy is used “excessively” in the current European societies and liberal market-economy should play more dominant role. Naturally this is not well-received argument by the left. Walhroos makes interesting points in the sidelines, such as comparing how democratically the leading figures are chosen in China and European Union. These though-provoking points make the book enjoyable. Also the historical narrative supporting the main idea is interesting. However, the ending of the book is disappointingly kitchy – lone rider of the liberal-market economy riding towards sunset…

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