Mathematics and Democracy: Designing Better Voting and Fair-Division Procedures

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, Dec 2, 2009 - Science - 392 pages

Voters today often desert a preferred candidate for a more viable second choice to avoid wasting their vote. Likewise, parties to a dispute often find themselves unable to agree on a fair division of contested goods. In Mathematics and Democracy, Steven Brams, a leading authority in the use of mathematics to design decision-making processes, shows how social-choice and game theory could make political and social institutions more democratic. Using mathematical analysis, he develops rigorous new procedures that enable voters to better express themselves and that allow disputants to divide goods more fairly.


One of the procedures that Brams proposes is "approval voting," which allows voters to vote for as many candidates as they like or consider acceptable. There is no ranking, and the candidate with the most votes wins. The voter no longer has to consider whether a vote for a preferred but less popular candidate might be wasted. In the same vein, Brams puts forward new, more equitable procedures for resolving disputes over divisible and indivisible goods.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Approval Voting in Practice
3
Approval Voting in Theory
23
Combining Approval
46
Constrained
69
The Minimax Procedure
89
6
112
Selecting Winners in Multiple Elections
143
8
173
14
305
16
313
21
322
Summary and Conclusions
329
Glossary
337
References
343
46
361
Index
363

Allocating Cabinet Ministries in a Parliament
199
10
224

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Steven J. Brams is professor of politics at New York University. He is the author of Theory of Moves, among many other books, and the coauthor of The Win-Win Solution: Guaranteeing Fair Shares to Everybody and Fair Division: From Cake-Cutting to Dispute Resolution.

Bibliographic information