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James L. Payne

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James L. Payne
Image of James L Payne Political Scientist James L Payne Political Scientist.jpg
Born (1939-06-17) June 17, 1939 (age 82)
🏳️ NationalityUnited States
💼 Occupation

James L. Payne (born 1939) is an American social scientist writing on political science, economics, social science methodology, foreign policy, and political philosophy. After teaching political science at the university level for 20 years, he left academia to conduct research and writing as an independent scholar.[1]


After studying as an undergraduate at Oberlin College, Payne went on to study political science from the University of California, Berkeley, earning his Ph.D. in 1968.[2]

Academic Career[edit]

Payne has taught political science at Texas A&M University, as well as at Yale University, Wesleyan University, and Johns Hopkins University.[3] From 1986 to 1988, Payne held the position of visiting scholar at Bowling Green State University, and in 1996 he was named a Bradley Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C..[4][5]

In 1985, Payne retired from academic tenure to study independently as the Director of Lytton Research and Analysis in Sandpoint, Idaho. He currently holds this position.[1]

Research and Views[edit]

Payne is critical of the efficacy of government programs. Pointing to numerous cases of government failure, Payne questions why so many Americans so firmly believe their government capable of solving a wide variety of economic and social problems.[6]

Payne has also documented the reduction in violent force throughout history. In his 2004 book, A History of Force, Payne argues that the global reduction in violence is due to increased economic prosperity, as well as improved communication and access to information.[7] Payne also argues that since government relies on the use of force, the reduction in force corresponds to a growing irreverence for government institutions and politicians.[7]



  • Labor and Politics in Peru; The System of Political Bargaining (Yale University Press, 1965)[8]
  • Patterns of Conflict in Colombia (Yale University Press, 1968)[9]
  • Incentive Theory and Political Process; Motivation and Leadership in the Dominican Republic (Lexington Books, 1972)[10]
  • The Culture of Spending; Why Congress Lives Beyond Our Means (San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1991)[11]
  • Overcoming Welfare; Expecting More from the Poor--And from Ourselves (Basic Books, 1998)[12]
  • A History of Force; Exploring the Worldwide Movement against Habits of Coercion, Bloodshed, and Mayhem (Lytton Publishing, 2004)[13]
  • Six Political Illusions; A Primer on Government for Idealists Fed Up with History Repeating Itself (Lytton, Publishing 2010)[14][15]
  • The Big Governement We Love to Hate (Lytton Publishing, 2021)[16][17]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Payne, James. "About the Author". sixpoliticalillusions.com. Lytton Publishing Company. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  2. "Lytton Publishing Company sells books written by author James L. Payne including the Princess Navina series of books". www.lyttonpublishing.com. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  3. "James L. Payne". Learn Liberty. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  4. "James L. Payne". Amazon.com. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  5. Ellen, Reese (2005). Backlash Against Welfare Mothers: Past and Present. University of California Press. p. 162. ISBN 9780520244627. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  6. Peterson, William. "Book Review: The Culture Of Spending: Why Congress Lives Beyond Our Means by James L. Payne". fee.org. Foundation for Economic Eduction. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Shaffer, Butler. "Book Review: A History of Force Exploring the Worldwide Movement Against Habits of Coercion, Bloodshed, and Mayhem". independent.org. The Independent Institute. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  8. Martz, John D. (1966). "Labor and Politics in Peru: The System of Political Bargaining. By James L. Payne. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1965. Pp. 292. $6.75.)". American Political Science Review. 60 (1): 162. doi:10.1017/S0003055400127133. ISSN 0003-0554.
  9. Hoskin, Gary (1969). "Patterns of Conflict in Colombia. By James L. Payne. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968. Pp. 358. $10.00.)". American Political Science Review. 63 (3): 957–959. doi:10.1017/S0003055400258978. ISSN 0003-0554.
  10. Payne, James L. (1972). Incentive Theory and Political Process: Motivation and Leadership in the Dominican Republic. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-669-84855-7. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  11. Savage, James D. (1992). "The Culture of Spending: Why Congress Lives Beyond Our Means. By James L. Payne. San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1991. 225p. $24.95". American Political Science Review. 86 (4): 1071–1072. doi:10.2307/1964389. ISSN 1537-5943. JSTOR 1964389.
  12. Walters, John (1998-06-03). "Help That Really Helps". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  13. Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2009-01-01). "Payne, James L., 2004. A History of Force: Exploring the Worldwide Movement Against Habits of Coercion, Bloodshed, and Mayhem. Sandpoint, ID: Lytton. 296 pp. ISBN 0915728176". Journal of Peace Research. 46 (1): 153. doi:10.1177/00223433090460010916. ISSN 0022-3433. Unknown parameter |s2cid= ignored (help)
  14. "Political Illusions". www.woodfordfoundation.org. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  15. Leef, George C.; Payne, James L. (2011-05-25). "Six Political Illusions: A Primer on Government for Idealists Fed Up with History Repeating Itself | George C. Leef, James L. Payne". fee.org. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  16. Gardella, Henry (2020-05-07). "Why Libertarianism Is Not Mainstream (But Should Be) | Henry Gardella". fee.org. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  17. Payne, James L. (2021-01-04). The Big Government We Love to Hate: Exploring the Roots of Political Malaise. Lytton Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-915728-28-2. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

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