- Friday, November 13 th : 14: 00-15: 30
Daniel Hoek (Virginia Tech) & Richard Bradley (LSE)
Million Dollar Questions: Why Deliberation Is More Than Information Pooling
Discussions of collective deliberation often assume that the chief aim of a deliberative exchange is the sharing of information. In this paper, we argue that an equally important role of deliberation is to draw participants' attention to pertinent questions, which can aid the processing of distributed information. Since the assumption of logical omniscience renders classical models of agents' informational states unsuitable for modeling this role of deliberation, we propose a different model in which beliefs are treated as answers directed at specific questions. Here, questions are formally represented as partitions of the space of possibilities. Using this new model, deliberation is then shown to shape collective decisions in ways that classical models cannot capture.
Friday, November 27 th : 13: 30-15: 00
Hun Chung (Waseda University)
A Formal Theory of Democratic Deliberation
Inspired by impossibility theorems of social choice theory, many democratic theorists have argued that aggregative forms of democracy cannot lend full democratic justification for the collective decisions reached. Hence, democratic theorists have turned their attention to deliberative democracy, according to which “outcomes are democratically legitimate if and only if they could be the object of a free and reasoned agreement among equals” (Cohen 1997a, 73). However, relatively little work has been done to offer a formal theory of democratic deliberation. This article helps fill that gap by offering a formal theory of three different modes of democratic deliberation: myopic discussion, constructive discussion, and debate.We show that myopic discussion suffers from indeterminacy of long run outcomes, while constructive discussion and debate are conclusive. Finally, unlike the other two modes of deliberation, debate is path independent and converges to a unique compromise position, irrespective of the initial status quo.