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Collective Decision-making: A Theoretical Introduction

Political Theory
Knowledge
Normative Theory
TS07

Room: General

Thursday 14:00 - 15:15 (30/07/2020)


Abstract

Instructor: Thomas Mulligan, Georgetown University Abstract: There are many real-world contexts in which people work together to reach a single decision. Consider, for example, a jury (which must, after hearing evidence and learning the law, render a verdict about a defendant's guilt) and a board of directors (which must study, debate, and then vote on company strategy). Collective decision-making is the study of how to make optimal decisions in these and similar contexts. Always relevant, it has gained new importance in recent years, as scholars debate the wisdom (or lack thereof) of democratic decision-making. This session is an overview of collective decision-making from a theoretical perspective. We cover three things. First, we review the circumstances suitable for study under collective decision-making, and how they differ from those studied by, for example, social choice theory. Second, we examine the main result of collective decision-making--Condorcet's Jury Theorem--and its generalizations. Third, we examine areas for future research. Core text: Collective Decision-making and Jury Theorems, Shmuel Nitzan & Jacob Paroush Further Reading: (1) Collective Decision-making: An Economic Outlook, Shmuel Nitzan & Jacob Paroush (2) Plural Voting for the Twenty-first Century, Thomas Mulligan (3) Epistemic Democracy: Generalizing the Condorcet Jury Theorem, Christian List & Robert E. Goodin (4) Thirteen Theorems in Search of the Truth, Bernard Grofman, Guillermo Owen, & Scott L. Feld