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:: Events :: On the day 14 April 2015, at 5.00-6.30 PM, at the Universita degli Studi di Milano, Centre for the Study of Social Action (Seminar Room, Department of Social and Political Sciences, Via Consevatorio 7, 20122 Milano) professor Christian List (London School of Economics) will give a lecture on “Can we design a perfect democratic decision procedure?”

list

Università degli Studi di Milano, Centre for the Study of Social Action

Tuesday 14 April 2015, 5.00-6.30 PM

Christian List (London School of Economics)
“Can we design a perfect democratic decision procedure?”

Abstract: The Enlightenment thinker Nicolas de Condorcet famously observed that majority rule, our paradigmatic democratic decision procedure, has some desirable properties, but sometimes produces inconsistent outcomes. Revisiting Condorcet’s insights in light of recent research in social choice theory, I show that there is a conflict between three initially plausible requirements of democracy: “robustness to pluralism,” “basic majoritarianism,” and “collective rationality.” For all but the simplest collective decision problems, no decision procedure meets these three requirements at once. At most two can be met together. This “democratic trilemma” raises the question of which requirement to give up. Since different answers correspond to different views about what matters most in a democracy, the trilemma suggests a map of the “logical space” in which different conceptions of democracy are located.

Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Social and Political Sciences
Via Conservatorio 7, 20122 Milano
Directions: enter the building from the main door in via Conservatorio, go to the second courtyard and turn left. Enter the building at the end of the courtyard on your left, and take the lift to the second floor.

The paper on which the talk is based is available here

Moore information here

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