Lotteries in Chicago

Just got back last night from Chicago, where I attended the latest meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Always an interesting conference, although they have expanded in recent years, which frankly means a lot more sub-par papers. It also means more flake-outs–I was supposed to present a paper on a panel with 2 other papers, but one of them was withdrawn in advance of the conference, and the authors of the other simply never showed up. (Needless to say, neither one was a Kleroterian…)

My paper was not directly on lotteries; rather, it dealt with non-reasoned decision-making more broadly. Some Kleroterians have probably seen an earlier version of it. There was also, however, a paper presented critiquing James Fishkin’s work, as well as the broader idea of “deliberative mini-publics” achieved through random selection. The author, Anna Drake, teaches at Queen’s University, in Canada. I spoke to her after the panel, and she might be interested in sharing her work with our group.

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One Response

  1. I found an abstract of Drake’s paper here.

    Her last point is particularly important, I think:

    The question of whether participants can successfully impact the background conditions that set the overarching agenda and affect subsequent participation speaks to issues of inclusion and legitimacy that are at the heart of deliberative democracy.

    The power of the elites to set the agenda, both at the micro-level, by setting the terms of discussion on a particular question, and at the macro-level, by controlling public discourse, tends to be either implicitly or explicitly accepted by “deliberative democracy” advocates.

    Like

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