On Marie Collins Swabey’s “Publicity and Measurement”

Ethics 125 (2):555-558, (2015)

Authors
Alex Guerrero
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Abstract
In “Publicity and Measurement,” Marie Collins Swabey writes that “if democracy is not to be abandoned, some attempt must be made to devise ways in which what is of genuine public concern may be made to concern the public." Her article grapples with the problem of democratic governance in an age of policy complexity and voter ignorance, a problem that remains arguably the core problem of democracy today, with policy issues having become, if anything, substantially more complex. Unfortunately, despite the prominence and extent of her work on this topic—including four articles in Ethics and a widely reviewed book— her contributions to political philosophy have been entirely lost. In this piece, I aim to highlight the continuing importance of the problem with which Swabey is grappling, and the distinctiveness, prescience, and continuing interest of her response to that problem.
Keywords Marie Collins Swabey  voter ignorance  democratic theory  citizen
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DOI 10.1086/678380
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