Voting lies at the very heart of modern representative democracy. Put simply and unequivocally, it is a necessary condition:
NO VOTING, NO DEMOCRACY!
But voting is not a sufficient condition. Elections cannot guarantee democracy.
Every day we hear allegations of rigged elections, voter intimidation and other rogue activities somewhere in the world that would compromise any true claim to democracy. Even in our most mature and respected democracies, their once-lauded representative capacities are often failing because their electoral procedures are no longer fit for the task. There is no universal quick fix for our broken democracies. Each problem is unique with its own particular history. Voter education, the first step to any serious electoral reform, is the global challenge of the century.
VoteDemocracy analyses systematically the relation between representative democracy and voting from many perspectives: historical, procedural, district vs proportional representation, power transfer, etc. At a VoteDemocracy Authors’ Symposium, the project editors and invited authors agreed on a 1-year course syllabus and on the content, duration and scaleable level of the modules for a comprehensive accompanying textbook. Students from the arts, sciences and social sciences—in fact, from nearly every discipline and background—as well as interested voters, politicians, journalists, policy makers and other practitioners, will gain much from our modular course that is adaptable to their particular capabilities and requirements. Textbook publication is expected in 2019.
Rudolf Fara (LSE)
Rudolf Fara is a Research Associate at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science and Project Leader of Voting Power and Procedures (VPP) at LSE. He co-founded VPP with Moshé Machover in 2000 and was a founding director of the international VoteDemocracy project in 2014. He co-edited with Dennis Leech and Maurice Salles Voting Power and Procedures (2014) a Festschrift in honour of Machover and the late Dan Felsenthal. In 1993 Fara returned to philosophy as a Trustee and Executive Director of the charity Philosophy in Britain, and shortly afterwards founded Philosophy International, publisher of the internationally acclaimed archival video series on the work of the most influential living philosophers. Productions include: In Conversation: Sir Peter Strawson, In Conversation: W. V. Quine and In Conversation: Donald Davidson. From 1972 to 1993, Fara was CEO of Prismatron Productions, the world’s first specialist publisher of academic media on computing, statistics and operations research.
Moshé Machover (King’s College, London and LSE)
Moshé Machover was born in Tel-Aviv, studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and taught mathematics there before coming to London University in 1968. He is professor emeritus at the Department of Philosophy, Kings College, London and Research Associate at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at LSE. His earlier work was on mathematical logic and the foundations of mathematics. Since the early 1990s, he has worked mainly in the area of Social Choice in collaboration with Dan Felsenthal. Together they published The Measurement of Voting Power: Theory and Practice, Problems and Paradoxes (1998), as well as many papers on the subject.
Nicholas Miller (University of Maryland Baltimore County)
Nicholas R. Miller was born and raised in California. He attended Harvard College and then did his graduate work in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1971 he joined the Political Science Department of the recently founded University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) where he now remains. His work has focused on formal theories of voting processes, including tournaments and majority voting, voting procedures and agendas, logrolling, spatial voting theory, voting power, information pooling, electoral systems, and properties of the U.S. Electoral College. In social choice theory, his name is associated with the concept of the ‘uncovered set’. He is a former editor of the Journal of Theoretical Politics, a past president of the U.S. Public Choice Society, and a Research Associate at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at LSE.
Friedrich Pukelsheim (University of Augsburg)
Friedrich Pukelsheim studied mathematics and economics at the universities of Cologne and Freiburg im Breisgau. In 1983 he was appointed Full Professor for Stochastics and its Applications at the University of Augsburg. His Wiley monograph Optimal Design of Experiments (1993) was included in the SIAM Classics in Applied Mathematics series (volume 50, 2006). Thereafter Pukelsheim's research interest turned to the mathematical analysis of proportional representation systems. His Springer monograph Proportional Representation: Apportionment Methods and their Application (2014, second edition 2017) grew out of interdisciplinary courses at Augsburg University and other academic institutions, and out of papers in journals of mathematics, statistics, political sciences, state law, and historical sciences. Pukelsheim has testified as an expert witness for the European Parliament, the German Bundestag, several German State Diets and several Swiss Canton Parliaments. Since 2013 he has served as Research Associate at LSE’s Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science.
Maurice Salles (University of Caen)
Maurice Salles was born in a Lower Normandy village. He studied economics at the University of Caen and mathematics from books. He taught at Caen before becoming professor at the University of Nantes in 1979. In 1982, he returned to Caen as professor of economics where he now remains. He works on social choice and voting theory, including fuzzy social choice and cooperative games aspects of voting. Salles was one of the founding editors of the journal Social Choice and Welfare in 1984 and has been the coordinating editor since. He is Secretary-Treasurer of The Society for Social Choice and Welfare at Maison de la Recherche en Sciences Humaines (MRSH) in the University of Caen Research Associate at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at LSE.