Cambridge University Press (2014)

Jason Brennan
Georgetown University
In many democracies, voter turnout is low and getting lower. If the people choose not to govern themselves, should they be forced to do so? For Jason Brennan, compulsory voting is unjust and a petty violation of citizens' liberty. The median non-voter is less informed and rational, as well as more biased, than the median voter. According to Lisa Hill, compulsory voting is a reasonable imposition on personal liberty. Hill points to the discernible benefits of compulsory voting and argues that high turnout elections are more democratically legitimate. The authors - both well-known for their work on voting and civic engagement - debate questions such as: • Do citizens have a duty to vote, and is it an enforceable duty? • Does compulsory voting violate citizens' liberty? If so, is this sufficient grounds to oppose it? Or is it a justifiable violation? Might it instead promote liberty on the whole? • Is low turnout a problem or a blessing?
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy this book $18.99 new   Amazon page
ISBN(s) 9781107041516   1107613922   1107041511
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,192
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Giving Epistocracy a Fair Hearing.Jason Brennan - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (1):35-49.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Compulsory Voting: A Critical Perspective.Annabelle Lever - 2010 - British Journal of Political Science 40:897-915.
Is There a Right Not to Vote?Heather Lardy - 2004 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 24 (2):303-321.
The Ethics of Voting.Jason Brennan - 2011 - Princeton Univ Pr.
People Do Not Have a Duty to Avoid Voting Badly: Reply to Brennan.Marcus Arvan - 2010 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 5 (1):1-6.
Is Compulsory Voting Justified?Annabelle Lever - 2009 - Public Reason 1 (1):57-74.
Republican Democracy and Compulsory Voting.Lisa Hill - 2015 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 18 (6):652-660.
'Democracy and Voting: A Response to Lisa Hill'.Annabelle Lever - 2010 - British Journal of Political Science 40:925-929.
Polluting the Polls: When Citizens Should Not Vote.Jason Brennan - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):535-549.
Voting Turnout, Equality, Liberty and Representation: Epistemic Versus Procedural Democracy.Lisa Hill - 2016 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 19 (3):283-300.


Added to PP index

Total views
27 ( #423,325 of 2,507,392 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #68,145 of 2,507,392 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes