An important stream of social science research has sought to plumb the depths of voter ignorance and its consequences for democratic representation. From Schumpeter to Converse and, now, Achen and Bartels' Democracy for Realists, some social scientists have offered a portrait of voters who generally lack even a coherent sense of a "right to left" ideological spectrum. Others, of course, disagree, arguing that models of retrospective voting or the use of heuristics and other mechanisms (including institutions, such as political parties, that simplify choices) allow citizens with little information to nevertheless make rational or at least boundedly rational choices collectively.
We seek to re-examine both normative and positivist theories of democracy in light of the recent contributions of Achen and Bartels, and other social science research, and also recent events in the US and globally.
This workshop is by invitation; not open to the public.