- selection, participation, representation
- participation – debate, deliberation
- collective intentionality – research, epistemic theory
- real existing democracy
wiki/sortition – In governance, sortition (also known as selection by lottery, selection by lot, allotment, demarchy, stochocracy, aleatoric democracy and lottocracy) is the selection of political officials as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates. Sortition is generally used for filling individual posts or, more usually in its modern applications, to fill collegiate chambers. The system intends to ensure that all competent and interested parties have an equal chance of holding public office. It also minimizes factionalism, since there would be no point making promises to win over key constituencies if one was to be chosen by lot, while elections, by contrast, foster it. In ancient Athenian democracy, sortition was the traditional and primary method for appointing political officials, and its use was regarded as a principal characteristic of democracy. Today, sortition is commonly used to select prospective jurors in common-law systems and is sometimes used in forming citizen groups with political advisory power.
>epistemic, cooperation, classical, rational choice theory
ucpress.edu/blog 2-1-2023 Greek Games: How Ancient Greek Philosophy Humanizes Rational Choice Theory – By Josiah Ober, author of The Greeks and the Rational: The Discovery of Practical Reason
In 1949, E.R. Dodds gave the Sather Classical Lectures and soon thereafter published a hugely influential book, The Greeks and the Irrational. When invited to give the 2019 Sather Lectures, I honored his 70th anniversary by choosing a topic that dropped just two letters from Dodds’ title.
Developed from those lectures, my new book The Greeks and the Rational asks two main questions: Why is social cooperation so difficult? And how is it even possible? These questions lie at the heart of contemporary theories of rational agency and ancient Greek theories of practical reasoning. They arise because humans are at once deeply interdependent social creatures (“political animals” in Aristotle’s famous description) and highly sophisticated calculators of advantage. Because we are interdependent members of social communities, it is essential that we cooperate with one another in seeking our common welfare. But because individual self-interest can be maximized by selfishly taking advantage of others’ cooperation, we are constantly at risk of being preyed upon by opportunistic free riders. Societies that over-compensate for that risk are insufficiently cooperative and under-supply common goods. But societies that fail to detect and punish free-riding are vulnerable to the machinations of an unscrupulous few.
Since the mid-20th century, theorists of decision and games, working in the fields of mathematics, economics, and political science have come up with answers to these key questions about humanity. Their answers concern choice and action, and are predicated on a set of intuitions about human motivation, cognition, desire, and belief. Those intuitions were translated into mathematical formulae, so that choice problems and solutions could be expressed algebraically. The resulting body of “rational choice theory” describes the conditions under which self-interested agents will (or won’t) choose cooperation.
Rational choice theory has been highly influential but remains controversial. Some pioneering choice theorists were very concerned with the threat of nuclear warfare. Mathematical techniques have been widely adopted by economists and political scientists seeking to better understand markets and political institutions. As a result, modern choice theory is sometimes regarded as a dehumanizing product of a historically unprecedented era, one in which the terrifying shadow of nuclear catastrophe is uneasily conjoined with a capitalistic celebration of greed.
My book shows that ancient Greek writers – philosophers, historians, and dramatists – shared a set of intuitions about motivation and action that were strikingly similar to the intuitions underpinning contemporary rational choice theory. The Greek intuitions were refined into a general theory that sought to explain the role of self-interest in human behavior. Moreover, anticipating modern choice theorists who teach their readers to be effective strategic reasoners (Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff, The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life), the Greek Sophists made their students experts in the use of strategic reasoning – for good or ill. Although the Greeks never developed the algebraic expression that is so characteristic of modern choice theory, the similarity between ancient and modern explanations of strategic behavior shows that the modern rational choice theory is not merely a product of uniquely modern circumstances.
(caw: rather the uniquely monetary circumstances ? > Graeber on ruptures of monetarization, Also nb origins rationality/money)
>real existing democracy
Preface – Leo Panitch, Gregory Albo
The Struggle over Actually Existing Democracy – Dennis Pilon
Women: Linking Lives with Democracy – Sheila Rowbotham
From Hayek to Trump: The Logic of Neoliberal Democracy – Martijn Konings
socialistregister.com 2018 The Struggle over Actually Existing Democracy – by Dennis Pilon
Abstract – By many accounts the world is more democratic today than ever before. This is usually understood to mean that more countries observe the popularly accepted procedural norms of nation-based democratic practice, such as regular elections, parliamentary control of the executive, and the ability to organize politically, free from coercion by the state or forces within civil society. From a low of just nine democracies by this definition in 1943, the number had increased almost tenfold by 2010 to 87. But as more and more of the world has embraced electoral democracy, public satisfaction with its workings in the countries with the longest experience of it has plummeted. American research reveals the starkest shift, from a 73 per cent approval rating of government in 1958 to just 19 per cent by 2015. Other western countries report more modest increases in ‘dissatisfied democrats’ but the trends are clear. The targets of public dissatisfaction are many, including political parties, the behaviour of specific politicians, the media, and the rather meagre openings for public input. Yet at the same time, public involvement in existing political opportunities – elections, political party membership, social movements – has declined precipitously. For a variety of pundits and political scientists, this increasing public disdain for and seeming indifference to politics, combined with the rising electoral support for populist anti-system parties from across the political spectrum, is indicative of a broader crisis in western electoral democracy. But just what the crisis is or what is causing it is less clear.
The failure to come to grips with the present democratic deficit in conventional public and academic discourse is not accidental but rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of what democracy is and how it works. The most basic issue with western electoral democracies is that they are not – and never have been – terribly democratic, a problem that was masked for a time by the postwar economic boom. Political scientists and media commentators tend to miss this because they mistake ideal-type processes and institutions for democracy. But the achievement of what we call democracy – what we have dubbed here ‘actually existing democracy’ – was not merely about securing certain processes or institutions. It involved a broad social struggle to install a kind of relationship amongst people for their own self-governance. It was and remains a struggle because those who would prefer privilege and/or property to be the basis of governing decisions have resisted these attempts. To understand how and why our democracy works as it does, to develop a better explanation of its origins and reproduction, we need to examine the concrete struggles to gain and give shape to actually existing democracy, specifically in advanced capitalist countries.
> Rousseau, Political Obligation, Anarchism, Contract Theory, Democracy : Rousseau, politische Verpflichtung, Anarchismus, Vertragstheorie, Demokratie
academia.edu 2022 Rousseaus philosophischer Anarchismus. Der demokratische Gesellschaftsvertrag und das Problem der politischen Verpflichtung – by Robin Celikates – Rousseau’s Philosophical Anarchism: The Democratic Social Contract and the Problem of Political Obligation
Abstract – In this article I firstly sketch the current discussion of the problem of political obligation and the position of philosophical anarchism. In the second step, Rousseau’s answer to this problem is interpreted as a variant of aposteriori philosophical anarchism. Thirdly, I show under which conditions, according to Rousseau, the political obligations of citizens cease to exist or become qualified, and finally I raise the question whether a specifically Rousseauian perspective on civil disobedience can be developed against this back-ground.
Einleitung – Für die einen ist er „one of the most sinister and most formidable enemies of liberty in the whole history of modern thought“ (Berlin 2002, S. 49), für die an-deren Verfechter demokratischer Freiheit, „the theorist par excellence of participation“ (Pateman 1970, S. 22). Wie diese wohlvertraute Bandbreite der Interpre-tationen bezeugt, ist die Frage, wie Rousseaus Politische Theorie sich – über dieideengeschichtliche Einordnung hinaus – auf die gegenwärtigen Herausforderungen der Demokratietheorie beziehen lässt, notorisch schwierig zu beantworten.Zuletzt wurden jedoch nicht nur theoretische, sondern auch direkter praktische Aktualisierungsversuche unternommen. So hat Benjamin Barber (2012) jüngst auf der Aktualität von Rousseaus Analyse und Kritik der wechselseitigen Verstärkung ökonomischer und politischer Ungleichheiten sowie des hinter der Fassade reprä-
sentativer Parteiendemokratien stattfndenden Abbaus demokratischer Selbstbestimmung insistiert und Rousseau in die Reihen von Occupy Wall Street aufzunehmen versucht
>Critical Theory, Democratic Theory, Populism, Democracy, Authoritarianism, Wendy Brown
academia.edu gg/pdf 2022 De-, Hyper-, or Pseudopoliticization? Undoing and Remaking the Demos in the Age of Right-Wing Authoritarianism – by Robin Celikates
article in Power, Neoliberalism, and the Reinvention of Politics /Wendy Brown – ed by Amy Allen & Eduardo Mendieta gg/pdf here
academia.edu gg/pdf 2020 Partizipation als zentrales Thema interdisziplinärer Nachhaltigkeitsforschung – by Carolin Bohn, Doris Fuchs, Tobias Gumbert, Victoria Hasenkamp, Marianne Heimbach-Steins, Lilith Kuhn, Sebastian Salaske, Larissa Sarpong, Gabriele Schrüfer, Sonja Schwarze, Lena Siepker, Cornelia Steinhäuser
Partizipation ist eine zentrale Voraussetzung fur eine erfolgreiche Nachhaltigkeitstransformation in demokratischen Kontexten. Das ist Konsens in Politik und Wissenschaft und spiegelt sich in vielen Positionspapieren und Leitbildern sowie unzahligen Forschungsprojekten zu dem Thema wider. Gleichzeitig zeigt die Vielzahl an diesbezuglichen Forschungsprojekten und Publikationen jedoch auch die Herausforderungen gelingender Partizipation auf. Da Nachhaltigkeit ein inharent interdisziplinares Thema ist, ist es wichtig, Perspektiven unterschiedlicher Disziplinen auf Aspekte der Partizipation im Nachhaltigkeitskontext zusammenzubringen und diese verschiedenen Facetten zu beleuchten.
Das hier vorliegende Papier stellt sich diesem Ziel. Es vereint Geographinnen, Landschaftsokologinnen, Politik-wissenschaftlerinnen, Soziologinnen und Theolog*innen in der Identifikation relevanter konzeptioneller Fragestellungen und empirischer Entwicklungen…
- Partizipation und Nachhaltigkeit: Bedarf, Bedingungen, Barrieren 1
- Wieso, weshalb, und wie? Eine Einführung in die Debatte um Potenziale und
Grenzen deliberativer Bürger*innenbeteiligung 5
Carolin Bohn, Victoria Hasenkamp und Lena Siepker
- Förderung von Schüler*innen zur Partizipation an nachhaltigen
Entwicklungsprozessen aus geographiedidaktischer Perspektive 18
Sonja Schwarze, Larissa Sarpong und Gabriele Schrüfer
- Beteiligungsgerechtigkeit und ihre Relevanz für eine Ermöglichung
nachhaltigen Konsums 28
Marianne Heimbach-Steins und Sebastian Salaske
- Lokale Partizipation als normativer Treiber der Agrarwende:
Ernährungsräte und Partizipative Garantiesysteme 42
Cornelia Steinhäuser und Tobias Gumbert
- Ziviler Ungehorsam als politischer Handlungsraum in kommunalen
Debatten um die Klimakrise 56
- Fazit: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen von Beteiligung für eine
> Political Theory, Politics and International Relations, Philosophy, Political Philosophy
cambridge.org / gg/pdf 7-2022 Democratic Multiplicity – Perceiving, Enacting, and Integrating Democratic Diversity
Edited by James Tully, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Keith Cherry, University of Alberta, Fonna Forman, University of California, San Diego, Jeanne Morefield, University of Oxford, Joshua Nichols, McGill University, Montréal, Pablo Ouziel, University of Southampton, David Owen, University of Southampton, Oliver Schmidtke, University of Victoria, British Columbia
This edited volume argues that democracy is broader and more diverse than the dominant state-centered, modern representative democracies to which other modes of democracy are either presumed subordinate or ignored. The contributors seek to overcome the standard opposition of democracy from below (participatory) and democracy from above (representative). Rather, they argue that through differently situated participatory and representative practices, citizens and governments can develop democratic ways of cooperating without hegemony and subordination, and that these relationships can be transformative. This work proposes a slow but sure, nonviolent, ecosocial and sustainable process of democratic generation and growth with the capacity to critique and transform unjust and ecologically destructive social systems. This volume integrates human-centric democracies into a more mutual, interdependent and sustainable system on earth whereby everyone gains. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
- James Tully is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Law at the University of Victoria.
- Keith Cherry is Postdoctoral Fellow of Law at the University of Alberta.
- Fonna Forman is Professor of Political Science and Founding Director of the Center on Global Justice at the University of California, San Diego.
- Jeanne Morefield is Associate Professor of Political Theory at the University of Oxford, Fellow at New College, and Non-Residential Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.
- Joshua Nichols is Assistant Professor of Law at McGill University.
- Pablo Ouziel is cofounder of the Cedar Trees Institute and Associate Fellow with the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria.
- David Owen is Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Southampton.
- Oliver Schmidtke is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria.
> Gaia democracy – eco-democratic – succession – being the change – participatory democracy – civic engagement – democratic crises – Kropotkin – mutual aid – Gandhi
cambridge.org 7-2022 – On Gaia Democracies from Part VI – Joining Hands: Eco-Democratic Integration – By James Tully
Summary – To respond to the ecological, social and democratic crises we face we need to realize that participatory democracy is the necessary permaculture of healthy representative and accountable democracies. Democracy is brought into being and generated by being democratic here and now in everyday relations. And, for all types of democracies to be sustainable they have to be integrated into the “mutual aid” or “gift-gratitude-reciprocity” relations of biodiversity by which life sustains life on this planet: Gaia or Earth democracy. The coordination and integration of democratic diversity set out in this volume has the capacity to bring about eco-democratic succession, modelled on ecological succession, as the alternative to failed reform and revolution.
> citizens assemblies, democracy, elections, politics, political Economy, random selection, sortition
bostonreview.net 11-2022 The Case for Abolishing Elections – They may seem the cornerstone of democracy, but in reality they do little to promote it. There’s a far better way to empower ordinary citizens: democracy by lottery. – by Nicholas Coccoma
…”…Many Americans agree. In a poll conducted in January 2020, 65 percent of respondents said that everyday people selected by lottery—who meet some basic requirements and are willing and able to serve—would perform better or much better compared to elected politicians. In March last year a Pew survey found that a staggering 79 percent believe it’s very or somewhat important for the government to create assemblies where everyday citizens from all walks of life can debate issues and make recommendations about national laws. “My decade of experience serving in the state legislature convinces me that this popular assessment is correct,” Bouricius said.
The idea—technically known as “sortition”—has been spreading. Perhaps its most prominent academic advocate is Yale political theorist Hélène Landemore. Her 2020 book Open Democracy: Reinventing Popular Rule for the Twenty-First Century explores the limitations of both direct democracy and electoral-representative democracy, advocating instead for government by large, randomly selected “mini-publics.” As she put it in conversation with Ezra Klein at the New York Times last year, “I think we are realizing the limits of just being able to choose rulers, as opposed to actually being able to choose outcomes.” She is not alone. Rutgers philosopher Alex Guerrero and Belgian public intellectual David Van Reybrouck have made similar arguments in favor of democracy by lottery. In the 2016 translation of his book Against Elections, Van Reybrouck characterizes elections as “the fossil fuel of politics.” “Whereas once they gave democracy a huge boost,” he writes, “much like the boost that oil gave the economy, it now it turns out they cause colossal problems of their own.”
Sortition got a popular, if perhaps unwitting, shout-out in the summer of 2020, when Andrew Yang—then in the thick of a run for president—tweeted, “There are times when I think one could replace our leaders with citizens chosen at random and get a better result.” The message went viral, no doubt in part due to its incongruity: a contender for the highest office in the land calling for his own abolition, indeed that of his entire political class. But the virality of Yang’s message also says something about the unpopularity of politicians. In the United States there is widespread disgust with electoral politics and a hunger for greater responsiveness and accountability—a hunger, in other words, for democracy. Could sortition be the answer?…
…That same 2021 Pew survey revealed that 68 percent of Americans believe the system needs major changes or should undergo complete reform; nearly the same number stated that most politicians are corrupt and don’t care what everyday people want. No wonder Yang’s tweet went viral.
In response to this discontent, reformers have proposed a slew of solutions. Some want to expand the House of Representatives, abolish the Electoral College, or eliminate the Senate. Others demand enhanced voting rights, the end of gerrymandering, stricter campaign finance laws, more political parties, or multi-member districts and ranked-choice voting. The Athenians would take a different view. The problem, they would point out, lies in elections themselves. We can make all the tweaks we want, but as long as we employ voting to choose representatives, we will continue to wind up with a political economy controlled by wealthy elites. Modern liberal governments are not democracies; they are oligarchies in disguise, overwhelmingly following the policy preferences of the rich. (The middle class happens to agree with them on most issues.)
Yet the myth of popular control persists. That is partly due to a political culture that venerates the Framers as unerring geniuses touched by the hand of God. Almost twenty years after historian H. W. Brands warned of “Founders chic,” our worship of these men has only grown. This reverence gets in the way of acknowledging how deeply the Founders of the U.S. republic distrusted democracy and strove to insulate the government from influence by the common man. …
…In the United States this evidence has mostly come from academics. In the 1970s the late political scientist Ned Crosby began to study how randomly selected groups of everyday people deliberated on public policy. With the Jefferson Center in Minneapolis (recently renamed the Center for New Democratic Processes), he and his wife, Pat Benn, started convening small meetings of deliberators chosen by lot—what they called Citizens Juries—to spend several days studying an issue. Eventually they helped create Oregon’s Citizens’ Initiative Review, which has since spread to Colorado and Massachusetts. Through these experiments, Crosby and Benn found that participants could achieve collective wisdom beyond that of any one person on his or her own. In the 1980s, James Fishkin of Stanford started exploring similar terrain, calling together samples of people by lottery to research policies and discuss them together. The New York Times profiled his work in 2019, when he gathered together what was dubbed “America in One Room.” This convocation of over 500 citizens spent several days reading briefing materials, hearing from presenters, and dialoguing about the major questions of the 2020 presidential election. As a result of the process, participants expressed greater respect and regard for those with whom they disagreed politically. On 22 of the 47 proposals considered, partisan polarization decreased significantly.
Meanwhile, democracy by lottery has exploded onto the practical political stage elsewhere in the West. The turning point came in 2004 in British Columbia, where the government convened a full-blown citizens’ assembly. …
…Since then, citizens’ assemblies have convened in many countries, including France, Belgium, Australia, and Spain. In 2009 grassroots groups in Iceland organized a 1,500-person national assembly to plan a vision for the country in the wake of the financial crisis, 1,200 of whom were randomly selected. In 2012 Ireland’s national legislature convened an assembly of 66 randomly selected citizens, 33 legislators, and a government-appointed chair to study eight issues, from marriage equality to the minimum voting age and the presidential term length. Four years later another assembly convened to examine abortion, climate change, and parliamentary reforms, this time without any politicians. Instead, 99 everyday people selected by lot met on weekends for several months, consulting an array of scholars and advocacy groups. They held question-and-answer sessions, engaged in roundtable discussions, and took votes in plenary meetings. The report and recommendations they produced went to the legislature, prompting a successful referendum in 2018 overturning an abortion ban. The process was so successful that it’s been retained in an ongoing fashion….
… But it’s one thing to have a group of citizens submit recommendations about one or two issues. Could citizens’ assemblies actually legislate and govern whole societies? Some advocates seek just that.
Brett Hennig, an Australian in his forties with a PhD in astrophysics, grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne in a working-class but apolitical household. Though once a member of Australia’s Green Party, inspired by its commitment to grassroots democracy, he grew disenchanted with party politics. “I realized that a party is just a machine for getting votes,” he told me. “I left completely disillusioned.” His 2017 book, The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy, landed him a speaking slot at a TEDx conference in 2017; his talk has been viewed almost 2 million times. In 2015 he and a group of fellow activists launched the Sortition Foundation, a grassroots organization dedicated to evangelizing the gospel of democracy. Run by its members, it seeks to make democracy by lottery a permanent fixture in government. (A sister organization, Democracy Without Elections, has since sprung up in the United States.) The foundation is currently conducting a campaign in Scotland to create a second house in the regional parliament populated by everyday Scots; this chamber would work alongside elected MPs, the way it now does in the German-speaking province of Belgium. Down the road, the group envisions a campaign to reform the British House of Lords into a similar allotted body.
Adam Cronkright’s story mirrors Hennig’s. Hailing from upstate New York, he made his way into the activist circles of Occupy Wall Street after college but likewise became disillusioned. After a sojourn in Bolivia where he experimented with democratic lotteries in schools, Cronkright, now 36, returned to the United States to found a grassroots organization, OF BY FOR, advocating for democratic lotteries. “When I was in Occupy,” Cronkright told me, “I saw a movement with no vision. With democratic lotteries, I saw a vision with no movement.” He aims to bring the two together. In 2020 the organization held a successful citizens’ assembly in Michigan on the COVID-19 pandemic, the subject of a forthcoming documentary.
The final goal for Hennig, Cronkright, and other advocates is ambitious: the end of politicians. They disagree about what would replace them. A unicameral legislature presents its own set of problems; committees would have to form to handle the workload, breaking down the representativeness of the body.
In a 2013 article for the Journal of Deliberative Democracy, Bouricius offers a bold alternative: using multiple groups of citizens to pass legislation, each one filled by lottery.
The first, an assembly of up to 400 representatives, would act as an agenda council. With the aid of professional staff, they would investigate social problems and set topics for legislation. Members would serve one three-year term before rotating out. The second chamber would consist of 150 different members, chosen by lot and randomly assigned to panels of three to five citizens. Each panel would be responsible for a particular policy area. They would take expert testimony, solicit proposals from the public, and work together to produce a bill. Again, representatives would serve one term of three years. Final passage of the law, however, would fall to a third body, dubbed the policy jury. Numbering some 400 people, this group would meet for just a few days to consider the proposed bill. After hearing from advocates and opponents of the legislation, they would vote by secret ballot on whether to adopt it as law. Not stopping with the legislature, Bouricius also imagines using citizens’ assemblies to select qualified chief executives. Others have argued for extending the proposal to include vetting and selecting members of the judiciary…”…
Bouricius’s vision is just one among many; still others are explored in the recent Verso collection Legislature by Lot (2019), edited by political scientist John Gastil and late Marxist sociologist Erik Olin Wright.
cairn-int.info 2019 Does random selection make democracies more democratic? How deliberative democracy has depoliticized a radical proposal – by Julien Talpin
Random selection’s grand come-back in politics over the last forty years is partly due to its incorporation by the theories of deliberative democracy, which have turned randomly selected devices into the central forums of deliberation. This integration was, however, far from being self-evident. It stemmed from the scientific trajectory of its proponents and from parallel trends in the political field. Despite the breath of fresh air that random selection brings to representative government, its scientific promotion has not necessarily meant a democratization of democracy. While such experiments have demonstrated the deliberative capacities of ordinary citizens, they have only exceptionally increased their power in decision-making processes. The focus placed by research on the analysis of deliberative dynamics within randomly selected devices has therefore been harshly criticized by some deliberativists who are calling for a return to Habermas’s initial inspiration of a greater deliberation in the public sphere rather than confined to mini-publics. This systemic turn has marginalized random selection within the most recent deliberative theories. After tracing back this intellectual path, I sketch some arguments about the way random selection could rekindle the critical spirit of deliberative theory, mainly through its oppositional use by social movements.
vox.com 1-2022 Can randomly selected citizens govern better than elected officials? – Why some political theorists are reviving a radical idea from ancient Athens. – By Dylan Matthews
…”…if you want to know what Congress will do in 50 years, seeing what ideas are percolating in the academy can be surprisingly informative. That’s why I’ve been struck by the growing popularity, among academics, of a radical idea for rethinking democracy: getting rid of elections, and instead picking representatives by lottery, as with jury duty. The idea, sometimes called sortition or “lottocracy,” originates in ancient Athens, where democracy often took the form of assigning positions to citizens by drawing lots. But lately it’s had a revival in the academy; Rutgers philosopher Alex Guerrero, Yale political theorist Hélène Landemore, and Belgian public intellectual David Van Reybrouck have been among the most vocal advocates in recent years. (If you’re a podcast fan, I recommend Landemore’s appearance on The Ezra Klein Show.) The broad sense that American democracy is in crisis has provoked an interest in bold ideas for repairing it, with lottocracy the boldest among them. …
…If the inventors of the Pfizer vaccine become billionaires in the context of helping the poorest people (in this instance, by helping save their lives), then that inequality can be justified. But if someone becomes a billionaire through rampant insider trading that has no benefit to the worst off, that cannot be justified. As a matter of intellectual history, I think the prominence of the difference principle is slightly odd. Rawls himself argued that both basic liberties and equality of opportunity should take precedence over the difference principle, a point critics like Richard Arneson seized upon; if an aspect of society satisfied the difference principle but denied people equality of opportunity, that aspect of society was unjust, per Rawls. The difference principle plays a much less pronounced role in his theory than in its public reception….
…Many have situated Rawls as an attempt to codify, with only light amendments, this kind of big-government, anticommunist postwar liberalism. Katrina Forrester’s book In the Shadow of Justice is the most nuanced version of this story I’ve seen; Forrester notes that Rawls “gave philosophers a distinctive structure of egalitarian thinking to defend against the libertarian threats to their right and to diffuse the promise of alternatives to their left.” Aaron Wildavsky, a right-leaning political scientist at Berkeley, was harsher, writing of Rawls and LBJ’s Great Society, “After the deed comes the rationalization. …”…
youtube 2018 Alexander Guerrero lays out a plan for “lottocracy” — a new form of government in which adult citizens would be randomly selected to serve as lawmakers.
youtub/ted 2018 Brett Hennig presents a compelling case for sortition democracy, or random selection of government officials — a system with roots in ancient Athens that taps into the wisdom of the crowd and entrusts ordinary people with making balanced decisions for the greater good of everyone. Sound crazy? Learn more about how it could work to create a world free of partisan politics.
theguardian. 2012 Improbable research: why random selection of MPs may be best – Mathematical research indicates that parliaments work best when some, though not all, members are chosen at random – by Marc Abrahams
Democracies would be better off if they chose some of their politicians at random. That’s the word, mathematically obtained, from a team of Italian physicists, economists, and political analysts. The team includes the trio whose earlier research showed, also mathematically, that bureaucracies would be more efficient if they promoted people at random.
Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, Cesare Garofalo, and two other colleagues at the University of Catania in Sicily published their new study in a physics journal called Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications. The study itself is titled Accidental Politicians: How Randomly Selected Legislators Can Improve Parliament Efficiency.
cambridge.org 2010 Mini-publics: assemblies by random selection – by Graham Smith
This chapter turns our attention to democratic innovations that are distinguished by their mode of selecting citizens, namely random selection. Random selection has a long democratic heritage: it was the preferred method for selecting positions of political authority in the Athenian polis and continued to play a part in republican thought and practice throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and into the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Manin 1997). Given this democratic heritage it is perhaps surprising that it has played little or no role in contemporary political systems, where selection by competitive elections is generally perceived to be the democratic method of choice for positions of political authority. The most prominent exception to this rule is the randomly selected jury used in a number of legal systems in advanced industrial democracies: ‘an obligation which may in principle fall upon any citizen, is almost the sole vestige of direct citizen participation in law-making and administration which survives in modern democracies’ (Arblaster 1994: 18).
Within the Athenian political system, lot and rotation governed the selection of magistrates, the council and the pool of volunteers for juries – all highly significant positions of political authority. As a selection mechanism, lot and rotation gave full expression to the principle of democratic citizenship by providing the occasion for citizens to rule and be ruled in turn: ‘For Aristotle, this alternation between command and obedience even constituted the virtue or excellence of citizens’ (Manin 1997: 28).
> Political Theory, Political Sociology, Politics and International Relations, Comparative Politics, Sociology, Theories of Institutional Design
irishtimes.com 14-5-2022 Just 10% of global land in natural state by 2050 without action, says biodiversity expert -First session of Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss sits at Dublin Castle
…”Addressing the first session of the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss sitting in Dublin Castle on Saturday, he said humans needed food, water, energy and timber from the land, but urgently needed to transform associated production systems. …
…”Assembly chair Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin acknowledged the richness of Irish biodiversity, but did not want people to believe there was a global crisis “and everything is fine here”.
The Assembly would undertake a six-month programme of work, she confirmed, and called on participants and people outside the Assembly to “engage with its work in order to confront Ireland’s climate and biodiversity emergency declared in 2019”. This could be done by tuning into proceedings online and making submissions. She said the Assembly would seek to address the fundamental issue …”…
electoral-reform.org.uk 2018 The Irish abortion referendum: How a Citizens’ Assembly helped to break years of political deadlock – by Michela Palese
politico.eu 2018 The myth of the citizens’ assembly – It worked in Ireland but it won’t solve Brexit – by Naomi O’Leary
“Put 100 ordinary citizens in a room and together they will solve the most intractable political problems of our time and save democracy in the process. If only things were so simple. Citizens’ assemblies, in which ordinary people are entrusted to carefully consider evidence on an issue and deliver policy recommendations, are the flavor of the month among political geeks across the world. Rory Stewart, one of the Tories vying to be the United Kingdom’s next prime minister, is proposing one to solve Brexit. President Emmanuel Macron has promised a grand débat national to involve the public directly in his efforts to reform France through citizens’ assemblies, online consultations and local meetups. The parliament of Belgium’s German-speaking community has set up a structure to include citizens’ assemblies in its decision-making on a permanent basis. Similar efforts are popping up everywhere from Sydney to Madrid to Gdańsk…”…
back to top
participation – debate, deliberation, decision making, epistemic practices
academi.edu pdf 2022 A look at citizen participation during COVID-19 in the city of Pinar del Río Yusmila Adalina Hernández Fernández, Hany Raisely Pérez Bruno
…”…Building citizenship is promoting the active participation of people in the construction and transformation of the society in which they live according to their interests and needs.(Camacho, 2001, p. 79). To participate is to belong to a whole that understands and has theparticipantinmind. It happens to be an activeentity, feeling with possibilities to do, contributeand decide. According to Gabriel Gyarmati, participation is the real and ffective capacity of the in-dividual or a group to make decisions on matters that directly or indirectly affect their life and activities in society (Krause, 2002, p.) … To what limits does citizen participation go and how it reverts in a moment of crisis, is a matter for reflection …”…
pure.rug.nl/GM PDF 2021 A realist epistemic utopia? Epistemic practices in a climate camp – by Justo Serrano Zamora, Lisa Herzog
INTRODUCTION : Participatory democratic practices are often seen as caught between two ideals: inclusiveness and efficiency. On the one hand, they are meant to provide “democratic deepening” by using inclusive processes and giving everyone a voice; on the other hand, they are expected to deliver good results (Gilman, 2012). But can one have both at once? Can deliberation be more than an “endless meeting” (Polletta, 2004)? And can the positive epistemic potentials of deliberation (Landemore, 2013, chap. 4) and other forms of political participation be unlocked in practice?
In this paper, we discuss a case study that provides reason for cautious optimism: practices of deliberative decision-making and task distribution in a 2019 “climate camp” in Germany. Here, radical ideals of democratic inclusion and horizontality2 came up against practical imperatives of efficiency with regard to the day-to-day organization of the camp. We analyze in detail how the participants in this camp dealt with two kinds of tension: the tension between the use of differential knowledge and the risk of thereby creating hierarchies; and the tension between participatory practices and imperatives of efficiency, which, as noted at the outset, has often been seen as a challenge for deliberative participatory practices.
We argue that through a number of strategies, the participants of the camp managed to overcome these tensions, with the strategies for overcoming the former tension also helping to overcome the second one. We also discuss what this—admittedly very specific—setting can tell us about deliberative practices more generally speaking. Our paper is situated at the intersection of two sets of literature. First, we draw on ideas from deliberative democratic theory (Cohen, 1989; Gutman & Thomson, 2004; Parkinson & Mansbridge, 2012; Young, 2001) and the literature on the epistemic advantages of democratic practices (Anderson, 2006; Landemore, 2013). Many deliberative democrats have pointed out thatsocial movements can be arenas of democratic deliberation (e.g., Dryzek, 2000; Fraser, 1990).
Here, our contribution is to discuss a real-life example, based on ethnographic work of how the epistemic potentials of democratic deliberation can be unlocked, turning it into a positive factor for efficient problem-solving. But we also make explicit that this requires a specific attitude and set of practices that are usually not included in the abstract ideal of deliberation.
Second, our case study also speaks to the literature on participatory democracy (Menser, 2018) and social movement studies (e.g., Della Porta, 2009; Felicetti, 2016; Leach, 2016; Maeckelbergh, 2009; Mansbridge, 1983; Polletta, 2004; Sitrin, 2012). Here, our original contribution follows from focusing on the epistemic tensions of democratic participation. While most of the available research focuses on the problems concerning the effective realization of democratic ideals and reaching consensus, we focus on successful strategies and mechanisms by which the participants deal with knowledge under radically democratic conditions.
In the next section (Section 2), we describe our case study and the ideals of horizontality and inclusion it tried to realize in more detail. We then turn to its epistemic practices, identifying some of the mechanisms and strategies through which the inegalitarian effects of epistemic hierarchies, such as unequal knowledge, are avoided (Section 3.1). This is followed by a discussion of how the second tension, between inclusion and efficiency, was overcome (Section 3.2). We also critically discuss whether the lessons learned from this case can be generalized (Section 4).
In the conclusion (Section 5), we summarize our results: our case study shows that epistemic practices which successfully combine strong democratic ideals of horizontality and efficiency are possible. To this extent, we can describe the epistemic practices of this climate camp as “real epistemic utopias.”
back to top
collective intentionality – research
academia.edu/pdf 2021 Habitual Behavior: Bridging the Gap between I-Intentionality and We-Intentionality – by Raﬀaela Giovagnoli
The central question of the debate on We- intentionality or Collective Intentionality is how to grasp the relationship between individuals and collectives. We’ll brieﬂy introduce the debate and the theoretical aspects of this complex issue. Moreover, we suggest to investigate habitual behavior that represents a fundamental part of the nature of human beings in both individual and social contexts.
journals.univie.ac.at 2022 The Journal of Social Ontology
About the Journal : The Journal of Social Ontology (JSO) is an interdisciplinary journal devoted to social ontology and collective intentionality that was founded in 2015. It is supported by International Social Ontology Society and the University of Vienna. JSO features scholarly work pertaining to the basic structures of the social world from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including moral, social and political philosophy, anthropology, cognitive science, economics, history, law, political science, and psychology. The topics that JSO covers range from small-scale everyday interactions to encompassing societal institutions, from expert teams to hierarchical organizations, and from unintended consequences to institutional design. The journal provides a forum for exchanges between scholars of diverse disciplinary and methodological backgrounds. In addition to major articles, JSO publishes review essays, discussion articles, and book reviews.
- Social ontology and collective intentionality
- Basic structures of the social world
- Interdisciplinary perspective including moral, social and political philosophy, sociology, anthropology, cognitive science, human sciences, economics, history, law, political science, and psychology
back to top
real exisisting – history of – democracy
inverse.com 16-1-2023 2,454 YEARS AGO, ONE EERILY FAMILIAR EVENT LED TO THE DOWNFALL OF ANCIENT ATHENS – During the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, Thucydides was cited frequently, and for a good reason. – by Rachel Hadas
…”…Among Thucydides’ trenchant insights, I believe two stand out in our moment.
First is how people shift values and norms to suit their political agendas. In Thucydides’ words, “To fit in with the change of events, words … had to change their usual meanings. What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfit for action.”
And second, the historian notes the extreme polarization, both the cause and result of factionalism, which is so striking 2,000 years ago – and today.
He writes: “Society had become divided into two ideologically hostile camps, and each side viewed the other with suspicion. As for ending this state of affairs, no guarantee could be given that would be trusted … everyone had come to the conclusion that it was hopeless to expect a permanent settlement, and so, instead of being able to feel confident in others, they devoted their energies to providing against being injured themselves.”
Thucydides’ luminous insights, however bleak, help us to rise above the incessant reactions and predictions of the 24-hour news cycle that feels as if it will never end. And, even if and when it does end, Thucydides warns us, “at some time or other and in much the same ways,” it will happen again.” – read whole article here
goodreads.com 2018 Can Democracy Work?: A Short History of a Radical Idea, from Ancient Athens to Our World – by James Miller
academia.edu/gg/pdf 2020 Capitalism Versus Democracy? Rethinking Politics in the Age of Environmental Crisis by Boris Frankel
Abstract: For over 150 years, political strategies and policies have been formed according to whether parties and movements believed that capitalism is either compatible or incompatible with democracy. This book challenges both supporters and opponents of the ‘compatibility’ thesis and calls for a rethink of politics in the age of environmental crisis. It is divided into three parts. Part One critically questions the dominant narratives and assumptions held by many of the broad Left about the origins, causes and alternatives to our present condition. Part Two focuses on how prominent neo-Keynesians and Marxists have explained the crises of the past decade and why they are still operating with essentially pre-environmentalist conceptions of the conflict between ‘capitalism and democracy’. Part Three offers one of the first detailed discussions of what kind of organisational, political economic and cultural issues that advocates of alternative post-carbon or post-capitalist societies will need to confront. In a penetrating critique of how the tensions between ‘democracy and sustainability’ have impacted the old debates over capitalism versus democracy, the author examines proposals and images of the ‘good life’ put forward by social democrats, greens, radical technological utopians, green growth ecological modernisers and degrowthers. Are the broadly held goals of greater social justice, ending poverty and inequality within and between affluent countries and low and middle-income societies possible without transgressing the fragile and damaged biophysical life support boundaries of the earth? Why is it that many who dispute the compatibility or incompatibility of ‘capitalism and democracy’ are yet to fully consider what policies, organisational forms and social changes flow from populations that favour democracy but oppose policies committed to greater environmental sustainability? These and many other issues are discussed in this unsettling new book which aims to stimulate us to rethink how we see our existing societies and future social, economic and political change.
ft.com 7-5-2022 A call to arms for diverse democracies and their ‘decent middle’ Democracy? Martin Wolf on Yasha Mounk’s The Great Experiment
theguardian.com 10-4-2022 Young adults have dramatic loss of faith in UK democracy, survey reveals – Report says sidelining of parliament by Tory government has further eroded trust in political system – by Toby Helm
theguardian.com/ 2022 Corporate sedition is more damaging to America than the Capitol attack – Kyrsten Sinema receives millions from business and opposes progressive priorities. Republicans who voted to overturn an election still bag big bucks. Whose side are CEOs on? – by Robert Reich
goodreads.com 2020 Democracy For Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics – by Peter Geoghegan
‘If you’re concerned about the health of British democracy, read this book – it is thorough, gripping and vitally important’ Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland.
Democracy is in crisis, and unaccountable and untraceable flows of money are helping to destroy it. Politicians lie gleefully, making wild claims that can be shared instantly with millions of people on social media. Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Jair Bolsonaro and populists in many other countries are the beneficiaries. Peter Geoghegan is a diligent, brilliant guide through a shadowy world of dark money and digital disinformation stretching from Westminster to Washington, and far beyond. He shows how antiquated electoral laws are broken with impunity, how secretive lobbying bends our politics out of shape, and how Silicon Valley tech giants have colluded in selling out democracy. Geoghegan investigates politicians, fabulously well-funded partisan think tanks, propagandists who know how to game a rigged system, and the campaigners and regulators valiantly trying to stop them. Democracy for Sale is the story of how money, vested interests and digital skulduggery are eroding trust in democracy – and a powerful account of what must be done about it.
theguardian.com 8-2020 Democracy for Sale by Peter Geoghegan review – the end of politics as we know it? The openDemocracy journalist delves into the web of power, money and data manipulation that is bringing our electoral system to its knees – by John Naughton
ft.com/ 7-2021 Democracy Rules by Jan-Werner Müller – “Stopping the rot”
nytimes.com 6-2021 Democracy Is for Losers (and Why That’s a Good Thing) By Jennifer Szalai
youtube 2016 Capitalism will eat democracy — unless we speak up – Yanis Varoufakis