My forthcoming ebook chapter, “Prime-Down and Backside-Up Options to the Drawback of Political Ignorance,” is now out there without cost obtain on SSRN. Right here is the summary:
There may be broad, although not common, settlement that widespread voter ignorance and irrational analysis of proof are critical threats to democracy. However there may be deep disagreement over methods for mitigating the hazard. “Prime-down” approaches, equivalent to epistocracy and lodging extra authority within the fingers of consultants, search to mitigate ignorance by concentrating extra political energy within the fingers of the extra educated segments of the inhabitants. In contrast, “bottom-up” approaches search to both elevate the political competence of most people or empower peculiar folks in ways in which give them higher incentives to make good selections than standard ballot-box voting does. Examples of bottom-up methods embrace growing voter information by training, numerous “sortition” proposals, and in addition shifting extra selections to establishments the place residents can “vote with their toes.”
This chapter surveys and critiques a spread of each top-down and bottom-up methods. I conclude that top-down methods have systematic flaws that severely restrict their potential. Whereas they shouldn’t be categorically rejected, we needs to be cautious of adopting them on a big scale. Backside-up methods have vital limitations of their very own. However increasing foot voting alternatives holds extra promise than another presently out there possibility. The concept of paying voters to extend their information additionally deserves critical consideration.
The chapter builds, partially, on my earlier work, significantly components of my books Free to Transfer: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom and Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Authorities is Smarter. But it surely additionally presents new assessments of a number of methods for assuaging political ignorance, in addition to a brand new approach of categorizing such options. I significantly wish to spotlight the thought of paying voters to extend their information ranges, which has not gotten practically as a lot consideration because it deserves.