Saturday, October 04, 2014

New Book: "Majority Decisions"

Majority Decisions
Principles and Practices

Ed. by Stéphanie Novak & Jon Elster

(Cambridge University Press, 2014)

258 pages


This book presents the most complete set of analytical, normative, and historical discussions of majority decision making to date. One chapter critically addresses the social-choice approach to majority decisions, whereas another presents an alternative to that approach. Extensive case studies discuss majority voting in the choice of religion in early modern Switzerland, majority voting in nested assemblies such as the French Estates-General and the Federal Convention, majority voting in federally organized countries, qualified majority voting in the European Union Council of Ministers, and majority voting on juries. Other chapters address the relation between majority decisions and cognitive diversity, the causal origin of majority decisions, and the pathologies of majority decision making. Two chapters, finally, discuss the counter-majoritarian role of courts that exercise judicial review. The editorial Introduction surveys conceptual, causal, and normative issues that arise in the theory and practice of majority decisions.

Contents [pdf] [preview]

1. Introduction [pdf] - Stéphanie Novak & Jon Elster
2. Putting Faith to the Ballot - Olivier Christin
3. Nested Majorities [paper] - Jon Elster
4. The Issue of Majority in a Federal System [paper] - Olivier Beaud
5. The Reception of Social Choice Theory by Democratic Theory [paper] - Gerry Mackie
6. What Should 'Majority Decision' Mean? [paper] - Michel Balinski & Rida Laraki
7. The Force of Majority Rule [paper] - Adrian Vermeule
8. The Tyranny and Brutality of Majority Rule - Jon Elster
9. Two Effects of a High Threshold of Qualified Majority - Stéphanie Novak
10. Democracy, Judgment, and Juries [paper] - Melissa Schwartzberg
11. Majority Rule in Constitutional Democracies [paper] - Pasquale Pasquino
12. The Majoritarian Threat to Democracy - Samuel Issacharoff.

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