Randomness and legitimacy in selecting democratic representatives

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Randomness and legitimacy in selecting democratic representatives

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Title: Randomness and legitimacy in selecting democratic representatives
Author: Parker, Joel Matthew
Abstract: The addition of random selection to our arsenal of methods for selecting political officials would enhance performance against norms of representative democracy. I employ historical and analytic methods to explore the nature of sortition and its relation to political equality, rational decision-making, and legitimate representation. Sortition both expresses a democratic commitment to political equality and facilitates improved performance under this democratic norm. It can be rational to eschew reasons in the process of selecting political officials, and decision-making bodies chosen randomly can be expected to make good decisions. I also address concerns stemming from representative norms, surrounding random selection of officials, arguing that random selection can enhance the resemblance and responsiveness of representatives. Finally, I detail some possibilities for institutional arrangements that would deliver the benefits of sortition while addressing the challenges it presents.
Department: Government
Subject: Political theory Constitutional design Democratic theory Representation Deliberative democracy Random selection Lottery Sortition
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2152/ETD-UT-2011-12-4923
Date: 2011-12

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