This course provides an introduction to social choice theory and explores how social choice theory can help to illuminate fundamental questions in the theory of democracy. The course has mathematical and philosophical aspects. On the mathematical side, students will be introduced to some key mathematical tools for the analysis of collective decision problems, and to some mathematical theorems at the centre of the social-choice-theoretic debate about democracy. On the philosophical side, students will be introduced to some central controversies about the foundations and institutional implementation of democracy such as (i) the debate between populist and minimalist models of democracy, particularly the question of whether social-choice-theoretic impossibility results demonstrate the impossibility of populist democracy, (ii) the debate between aggregative and deliberative models of democracy, and (iii) the debate between procedural and epistemic accounts of democratic legitimacy.

    Teacher: Picture of Christian ListPicture of Joseph Mazor