Professor Christian List, professor of political science and philosophy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), has been awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize.
The Philip Leverhulme Prizes were established to reward outstanding young scholars of substantial distinction and promise. The value of the prize is £70,000 to be spent on whatever activities will best promote the winner's future research.
The Leverhulme Trust emphasises individuals and encompasses all subject areas and trustees place special weight on the originality of the projects put to them; the significance of the proposed work; the ability to judge and take appropriate risk in the project; and the removal of barriers between traditional disciplines.
How can groups of individuals make rational collective decisions under conditions of pluralism? Professor List's work addresses this question from formal and normative perspectives. He has co-initiated the theory of judgment aggregation, which builds on earlier works in social choice theory in the tradition of Nobel Laureates Kenneth Arrow and Amartya Sen.
Professor List has also promoted a dialogue between two rival conceptions of democracy, so-called 'aggregative' and 'deliberative' ones, arguing that they are complementary, not contradictory. And has proved some new formal results on the properties of majority rule and investigated their relevance for some classic questions in political philosophy.
The Trust writes: 'Professor List's research brings togetherpolitical science, philosophy and economic theory in exciting and original ways. At the forefront of advances in social choice theory, he has already made a lasting impact in the new research field of "judgement aggregation". The literature on the aggregation of preferences is vast; however, less attention has been paid to the aggregation of judgements. He aims to remedy this through developing a model combining axiomatic social choice theory with a logical representation of propositions. His work in this field has thus enabled him to make notable contributions to more established areas of research, such as group agency and democratic theory, where the theory of judgement aggregation is central to the issue of whether democratic groups can rely on deliberation to make decisions.'
Professor List will use the Prize to support his research on formal models of group deliberation and the revision of individual judgments, and to write a book titled The Democratic Trilemma, exploring the implications of a trade-off in democratic decision-making between pluralism, majoritarianism and collective rationality.
Professor List said: 'I feel very lucky and privileged to have been awarded this Prize and am excited to embark on my new research with its help.'
Howard Davies, Director of LSE, said: 'My congratulations to Christian List on being rewarded a Leverhulme Prize. These are highly prestigious awards and we are always proud when one of our academics receives one.'
For more on Dr List, see http://personal.lse.ac.uk/list/
20 November 2007