Mechanisms of democracy: institutional design writ small
What institutional arrangements should a well-functioning constitutional democracy have?
Most of the relevant literatures in law, political science, political theory, and economics address this question by discussing institutional design writ large. In this book, Adrian Vermeule moves beyond these debates, changing the focus to institutional design writ small.
In established constitutional polities, Vermeule argues that law can and should - and to some extent already does - provide mechanisms of democracy: a repertoire of small-scale institutional devices and innovations that can have surprisingly large effects, promoting democratic values of impartial, accountable and deliberative government. Examples include legal rules that promote impartiality by depriving officials of the information they need to act in self-interested ways; voting rules that create the right kind and amount of accountability for political officials and judges; and legislative rules that structure deliberation, in part by adjusting the conditions under which deliberation occurs transparently or instead secretly.
Drawing upon a range of social science tools from economics, political science, and other disciplines, Vermeule carefully describes the mechanisms of democracy and indicates the conditions under which they can succeed.
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The Veil of Uncertainty
The Limits of Uncertainty
Delegation Accountability and Judging
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absolute majority rule abstention Adrian Vermeule agency interpretation agency's agenda argue argument bargaining behavior benefits bill Bill of Attainder budget process certiorari Chapter choice Clause cloture committees Congress congressional constitutional issues constraints costs decisionmaking decisions deference delayed disclosure delegation deliberative democracy democratic democratic accountability democratic theory democratic values discussed doctrinal Chevron effect election enactment enforce ex post facto example executive favor federal force House impartiality interest groups Jon Elster judges judicial Jury Theorem lawmakers legislatures majoritarian majority voting May's Theorem mechanisms minorities motivation nondelegation nondelegation doctrine norm officials optimal outcomes parties plausible points of order political problem produce promote proposals question quorum reason regime relevant requires retroactive Rule of Four self-interested Senate simple majority status quo strategic submajoritarian submajority rules substantive suggest supermajority rules supra note Supreme Court tion tradeoffs transparency veil of uncertainty veil rules voters voting rule