Reading list from Terry Bouricius:

Here is my reading list. I haven’t read all of them yet, but most of them. Manin’s book is good…primarily the historic underpinnings of the American choice in the Constitution of election instead of sortition.
· Sortition: Theory and Practice, edited by Oliver Dowlen and Gil Delannoi (2010). A collection of academic papers from a Paris conference.
· When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation, by James S. Fishkin (2009). This is the latest of Fishkin’s books that discuss a system combining polling with deliberation among random samples of citizens. While not sortition as such, he proposes this system using similar reasoning.
· The Political Potential of Sortition: a study of the random selection of citizens for public office, by Oliver Dowlen (2008). Dowlen primarily focuses on the arational, or “blind break” of random selection, where removing choice from human decision enhances a sense of fairness or protection from corruption. Much of the book deals with the details of the use of random selection in Italian city republics of the 16th century.
· Saving Democracy: A Plan for Real Representation in America, by Kevin O’Leary (2006). Random sampling to form a virtual legislature is a major element of his plan.
· Deliberative Democracy In America: A Proposal For A Popular Branch Of Government, by Ethan J. Leib (2005). Leib sets forth a proposal for a new branch of government using sortition.
· By Popular Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy Through Deliberative Elections, by John Gastil (2000). Gastil deals with a concept related to sortition within and electoral framework, specifically, a randomly selected policy body in each congressional district, comprising a virtual third chamber.
· Random Selection in Politics by Lyn Carson & Brian Martin (1999). Carson and Martin cover both historical and possible future uses of random selection and sortition in politics.
· Random Justice: On Lotteries and Legal Decision-Making , by Neil Duxbury (1999). While touching on sortition and lottery voting (selecting random ballots to form a proportionally representative body), the focus of the book is the use of chance in legal decisions rather than selecting officials.
· Random Selection in Politics, by Lyn Carson & Brian Martin (1999). They include sortition for representative bodies.
· Toward an Ethic of Citizenship: Creating a Culture of Democracy for the 21st Century by William Dustin (2000). Dustin discusses many aspects of citizenship and extends the concept of the jury to the legislative realm as well.
· The Principles of Representative Government by Bernard Manin (1997). Manin traces the history of election and sortition with regards to aristocracy and democracy, with keen insights into the thinking of the framers of the U.S. constitution.
· The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy, by James Fishkin (1995). Fishkin primarily deals with advisory deliberative polling and policy juries (which he essentially invented).
· Justice by Lottery, by Barbara Goodwin (1992, 2005). Goodwin takes a broader view of the social justice and equality possibilities of lottery distribution of public goods, but also touches on the use of lottery voting (selecting random ballots to create a representative legislature).
· Is democracy possible? The alternative to electoral politics by John Burnheim, (1985). Burnheim discusses the shortcomings of liberal democracy and the possibility of a non-electoral democracy, which he terms “demarchy.”
· A People’s Parliament by Keith Sutherland. (2008). Focused on the UK mostly. His plan proposes one chamber (Commons) be selected by lot to pass judgement on laws proposed by an elected chamber.
· The Athenian Option: Radical Reform for the House of Lords, by Anthony Barnett and Peter Carty (1998), also obviously geared to the U.K audience. It was revised in 2008.
· A Citizen Legislature, A Modest Proposal for the Random Selection of Legislators by Ernest Callenbach and Michael Phillips (1985). Using a point by point description and defense of their proposal for a bicameral legislature at the state and national level in which one chamber is selected by sortition. This was re-released in 2008, with a companion book aimed at the United Kingdom audience.


The Luck of the Draw: The Role of Lotteries in Decision-Making by Peter Stone

Book Description (from Amazon)
ISBN-10: 0199756104 | ISBN-13: 978-0199756100 | Publication Date: April 15, 2011
From the earliest times, people have used lotteries to make decisions–by drawing straws, tossing coins, picking names out of hats, and so on. We use lotteries to place citizens on juries, draft men into armies, assign students to schools, and even on very rare occasions, select lifeboat survivors to be eaten. Lotteries make a great deal of sense in all of these cases, and yet there is something absurd about them. Largely, this is because lottery-based decisions are not based upon reasons. In fact, lotteries actively prevent reason from playing a role in decision making at all.
Over the years, people have devoted considerable effort to solving this paradox and thinking about the legitimacy of lotteries as a whole. However, these scholars have mainly focused on lotteries on a case-by-case basis, not as a part of a comprehensive political theory of lotteries. In The Luck of the Draw, Peter Stone surveys the variety of arguments proffered for and against lotteries and argues that they only have one true effect relevant to decision making: the “sanitizing effect” of preventing decisions from being made on the basis of reasons. While this rationale might sound strange to us, Stone contends that in many instances, it is vital that decisions be made without the use of reasons. By developing innovative principles for the use of lottery-based decision making, Stone lays a foundation for understanding when it is–and when it is not–appropriate to draw lots when making political decisions both large and small.

About Common Lot Sortitionist

Former public television producer-director; initiating culminating career, Common Lot Productions, towards policy-making bodies that are of, BY and for the people.
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