My forthcoming guide chapter, “High-Down and Backside-Up Options to the Downside of Political Ignorance,” is now obtainable at no cost obtain on SSRN. Right here is the summary:
There may be broad, although not common, settlement that widespread voter ignorance and irrational analysis of proof are severe threats to democracy. However there’s deep disagreement over methods for mitigating the hazard. “High-down” approaches, resembling epistocracy and lodging extra authority within the fingers of specialists, search to mitigate ignorance by concentrating extra political energy within the fingers of the extra educated segments of the inhabitants. In contrast, “bottom-up” approaches search to both elevate the political competence of most of the people or empower abnormal individuals in ways in which give them higher incentives to make good selections than typical ballot-box voting does. Examples of bottom-up methods embody growing voter data by schooling, varied “sortition” proposals, and in addition shifting extra selections to establishments the place residents can “vote with their ft.”
This chapter surveys and critiques a variety of each top-down and bottom-up methods. I conclude that top-down methods have systematic flaws that severely restrict their potential. Whereas they shouldn’t be categorically rejected, we needs to be cautious of adopting them on a big scale. Backside-up methods have vital limitations of their very own. However increasing foot voting alternatives holds extra promise than every other at the moment obtainable choice. The concept of paying voters to extend their data additionally deserves severe consideration.
The chapter builds, partially, on my earlier work, notably components of my books Free to Transfer: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom and Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Authorities is Smarter. However it additionally affords new assessments of a number of methods for assuaging political ignorance, in addition to a brand new manner of categorizing such options. I notably need to spotlight the concept of paying voters to extend their data ranges, which has not gotten almost as a lot consideration because it deserves.
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