Presidential Lotteries? – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Presidential Lotteries?

As presidential candidates make their bids in primaries and the upcoming election, most of us are deciding who we'll vote for. However, Professor Hubertus Buchstein is thinking about how to replace elections with lotteries.

A political scientist and professor of political theory and history of ideas at the University of Greifswald (Greifswald, Germany), Buchstein will explain his re-envisioned “voting” process in his upcoming lecture, “Accidental Democracy: Voting, Participation and Lotteries,” sponsored by the Political Science Department.

Buchstein's talk builds on his research regarding the history of public and private voting as well as the history of the lottery in democracies. In his view, representatives ought to be chosen by lot, a practice that dates back to ancient Athens. Buchstein argues that democracy would be stronger if members of Congress were chosen the same way members of juries are, namely.

“Professor Buchstein’s lecture will be of interest to all students and faculty in an election year,” Professor of Political Science Jodi Dean explains. “His work forces us to consider whether elections are the best method for choosing representatives and what impact a lottery system would have on democratic practices.”

Buchstein is co-editor of the book series, “Studies in Political Theory,” co-editor of the magazine, Redescriptions, and co-editor of the journal Leviathan- Journal of Social Sciences. In addition to this work, Buchstein is also vice chair of the German Association of Political Science. Some of his research interests include the political history of ideas, modern democratic theory and right-wing extremism in Germany.

The lecture will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 13 in Stern 103. This event is free and open to all.