🦋 The best use of our limited resources in service of democracy?

80,000 hours for the science of democracy

Political scientists have long recognised the limited resources citizens have to engage with politics. It is something advocates of democratic innovations struggle with, too. How can we innovate democracy in a way that recognises that people often don’t have much time to attend hearings or discussion forums, while still enabling them to exercise control over the decisions that affect them?

A luxury we cannot afford

Is the fundamental research Gagnon advocates, then, an effective means to heed the activist’s chant of ‘power to the people’? I think the answer is no.

Bringing power to the people

Gagnon’s project, and the present series, are of interest to democratic theorists. They alert us to the value of soaking up new ideas and combining existing ones to address challenges to democracy. But, while democracy is under threat from authoritarianism and growing inequalities, there is a need to take our limited resources seriously. We must ask ourselves the question: how do we most effectively use our resources to bring power to the people?

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The Science of Democracy

The Science of Democracy

Republished essays, in chronological order, from The Loop’s short essay series on the “science of democracy”