Random Selection in Politics (Google eBook)

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Jan 1, 1999 - Philosophy - 161 pages
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How might the entire citizenry of a country make the decisions that affect them? Carson and Martin provide the first accessible and comprehensive overview of random selection as a possible process for transforming our modern political systems. Building on the theoretical work of the likes of John Burnheim and Fred Emery and drawing on their own work with social action groups, they outline a set of methods that go beyond the mere tapping of community opinion to reveal not only preferences but a more active role in creating the community.

Random selection, as Carson and Martin show, has been used in community participation in short-term decision making and long-term planning. It can be a powerful tool in the development of local, federal, and international policy. An important and innovative look at government decision making, this will be of primary interest to scholars and researchers in political theory and electoral systems, as well as political activists and reformers.


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Page 1 - Government by elected representatives is taught in schools and presented in the media as the natural way of doing things. Powerfully legitimized by the ideas of mandate and merit, representatives elected under this system consider that the electorate has given them a mandate to govern, while bureaucrats consider that merit and expertise justify their role in a powerful decision-making elite.

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About the author (1999)

Lyn Carson is Professor in the Business Programs Unit at the University of Sydney Business School and a co-initiator of the Australian Citizens' Parliament.

BRIAN MARTIN is Associate Professor in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Wollongong, Australia.

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