Epistemic Democracy in Practice

The Program on Democracy at Yale University and the Research Programme on Democracy at University of Oslo are organizing an international workshop on "Epistemic Democracy in Practice" to be held at Yale University in October 2011.

Epistemic democracy is a recent paradigm in democratic theory. Put generally, in the epistemic interpretation, democratic decision-making processes are valued at least in part for their knowledge-producing potential and defended in relation to this. Epistemic democracy further combines deliberative and aggregative approaches to democracy but shifts their focus towards an outcome-oriented consideration for how well democratic procedures such as deliberation and voting help democratic decisions approximate a procedure-independent standard of correctness (Cohen 1986).

Our workshop aims to bring together the normative and theoretical literature in epistemic democracy and the empirical research on the quality of good governance and good collective decision-making in political sciences. We would like to generate a dialogue by inviting normative theorists to address the empirical and institutional implications of the philosophical paradigm of epistemic democracy and by inviting empirical scientists to develop pre-existing or new lines of research within an epistemic framework. Among the questions of possible interest are, from the more theoretical to the more empirical:  How should the procedure-independent standard of correctness be understood, in particular in relation to notions such as objective truth, overlapping consensus, and majoritarian norms? Whichever interpretation is embraced, how can we translate the procedure-independent standard of correctness into empirical terms? How can we measure the epistemic quality of democratic processes (e.g., deliberation and voting) and that of democratic outcomes and can we connect one to the other? What are the specific properties of different democratic institutions—representative assemblies, parties, constitutional courts, the media, etc.—and how do they complement, compound, or compete with each other?


Confirmed participants and papers:

André Bächtiger (University of Lucerne). Contestatory Deliberation.

Eric Beerbohm (Harvard University). Compromise and Democratic Law-Making.

Jon Elster (Columbia University). Deliberations, Cycles and Misrepresentation

Erik Oddvar Eriksen (University of Oslo). The Role of Deliberation in Collective Decision-Making: On Explanatory Mechanisms and the Epistemics of Rational Reason.

David Estlund (Brown University).

Cynthia Farrar (Yale University).

James Fishkin (Stanford University). Deliberative Democracy in Context: Reflections on Theory and Practice.

Andreas Føllesdal (University of Oslo). Tracking Justice Democratically.

Cathrine Holst (University of Oslo). Epistocracy: Conceptual Clarifications.

Mark Klein (M.I.T.). Enabling Large-Scale Deliberation Using Attention-Mediation Metrics.

Hélène Landemore (Yale University) and Scott E. Page (University of Michigan and Santa Fe Institute). Deliberation and Disagreement: Problem-Solving, Prediction, and Positive Dissensus.

Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (Aarhus University). Estlund on Epistocracy: A Critique.

Jane Mansbridge (Harvard University).

Michael Neblo (University of Ohio). The Virtue of Deliberation: Sophrosyne and Epistemic Democracy.

Beth Novek (New York University). Peer to Policy

Josiah Ober (Stanford University). An Aristotelian middle way between deliberation and independent-guess aggregation.

Jon Olafson (Bifröst University). Experiment in Iceland: Crowdsourcing the Constitution.

Bjørn Erik Rasch (University of Oslo). Legislative Debates and Democratic Deliberation in Parliamentary Systems.

Bo Rothstein (University of Gothenburg). Quality of Government and Epistemic Democracy.

Melissa Schwartzberg (Columbia University). Epistemic Equality, Majority Rule, and Supermajorities.

Jürg Steiner (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill/University of Bern). Truthfulness (Wahrhaftigkeit) in the deliberative model of democrcy.

Susan Stokes (Yale University). A Rational Theory of Epistemic Democracy

Daniel Viehoff (University of Sheffield). The Normative Functions of Epistemic Democracy.

Ian Shapiro (Yale University)

Joshua Braver (Yale University)

Paolo Spada (Harvard University)

John Roemer (Yale university)

Anna Jurkevics (Yale University)

Shawn Fraistat (Yale University)

Sean Ingham (Harard University)

Bryan Garsten (Yale University)

Final Program for the Workshop.


Hélène Landemore and Susan Stokes, Yale University
Bjørn Erik Rasch, University of Oslo

For more information, see the website at Yale University.

Related events organized by the University of Oslo Research Programme on Democracy: Oslo-Rome Iternational workshop on Democracy, 7-9 November 2011, Rome, Italy and 3rd International Conference on Democracy as Idea and Practice, 12-13 January 2012, Oslo, Norway.

Published Apr. 18, 2011 1:50 PM - Last modified Oct. 19, 2011 10:33 AM