Limited Epistocracy and Political Inclusion

Episteme:1-21 (2017)
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Abstract

In this paper I defend a form of epistocracy I call limited epistocracy— rule by institutions housing expertise in non-political areas that become politically relevant. This kind of limited epistocracy, I argue, isn’t a far-off fiction. With increasing frequency, governments are outsourcing political power to expert institutions to solve urgent, multidimensional problems because they outperform ordinary democratic decision-making. I consider the objection that limited epistocracy, while more effective than its competitors, lacks a fundamental intrinsic value that its competitors have; namely, political inclusion. After explaining this challenge, I suggest that limited epistocracies can be made compatible with robust political inclusion if specialized institutions are confined to issuing directives that give citizens multiple actionable options. I explain how this safeguards citizens’ inclusion through rational deliberation, choice, and contestation.

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Anne Jeffrey
Baylor University

Citations of this work

Are Knowledgeable Voters Better Voters?Michael Hannon - 2022 - Politics, Philosophy, and Economics 21 (1):29-54.
An Epistemic Theory of Democracy.Robert E. Goodin & Kai Spiekermann - 2018 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Is Epistocracy Irrational?Adam F. Gibbons - 2022 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 21 (2).
Epistemic democracy and the role of experts.Cathrine Holst & Anders Molander - 2019 - Contemporary Political Theory 18 (4):541-561.

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References found in this work

Wide or narrow scope?John Broome - 2007 - Mind 116 (462):359-370.
Accountability and values in radically collaborative research.Eric Winsberg, Bryce Huebner & Rebecca Kukla - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46:16-23.
On the Compatibility of Epistocracy and Public Reason.Thomas Mulligan - 2015 - Social Theory and Practice 41 (3):458-476.
Democracy.Tom Christiano - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
[Untitled].Edward Schafer - 1961 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 81 (4):455.

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