Is It Time for Lottery-Based Authorities?

Alekseyeva T.A.,

Professor, Head of Political Theory Department, MGIMO University,

elibrary_id: 1361 |

Loshkariov I.D.,

Lecturer, Political Theory Department, MGIMO University,

elibrary_id: 639886 |

Parenkov D.A.,

Lecturer, Political Theory Department, MGIMO University,

elibrary_id: 701908 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2018.06.10
ID of the Article:

For citation:

Alekseyeva T.A., Loshkariov I.D., Parenkov D.A. Is It Time for Lottery-Based Authorities? – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No 6. P. 142-154 (In Russ.) . DOI:


The article analyzes the concept of political lottery as a way of selecting candidates for power positions as well as a full-fledged political institution. The use of lotteries in this capacity has a long tradition, it can be traced back to the historical experience of ancient Greek policies, namely, Athens. Currently, there is a discussion about the scope of possible use of political lotteries due to deformation of feedback mechanisms between government institutions and society at large. Political lotteries have already been put into practice in a number of countries, including Ireland and Germany. In other states, there is a discussion of the appropriateness and specific forms of implementing the selection of “random” people in the decisionmaking bodies. The authors enumerate several approaches to the given phenomenon. The minimalists believe that the use of political lotteries and implementation of deliberate discussions between selected delegates can be useful only at the local level within narrow-issue framework. Inclusivists insist that political lotteries are applicable in different situations and the scope of their application should not be limited to the local level of decision-making. From this point of view, the randomly selected bodies can be included into the system of already existing political institutions. Finally, the maximalists believe that the selection method will create a new type of political regime that can ensure a more equitable representation of citizens’ interests. The article explores the main arguments and points of disagreement among representatives of the three approaches as well as existing projects for creating “lottery-based” political institutions. The authors analyze the main reasons for applying to the practice of political lotteries and, as a consequence, determine the main advantages of random selection for political positions. Among these advantages are the reduction of the corruption component in the selection process, a statistical representative sample as a result of the process and the decreasing importance of traditional social and political dividing lines. The authors come to the conclusion that political lotteries also have shortcomings such as the awkwardness of the functioning of the lottery-based bodies and the need to search for a new format of checks and balances.

political lottery; political justice; representation; mini-publics; lotocracy.

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Content No 6, 2018

В статье анализируется понятие политической лотереи – не только как способа отбора кандидатов на властные должности, но и как полноценного политического института. Использование лотерей в таком качестве имеет давнюю традицию, уходящую корнями в опыт древнегреческих полисов – прежде всего Афин. В наши дни политические лотереи применяются в ряде государств, в том числе в Ирландии и Германии. В других государствах обсуждаются целесообразность и конкретные формы реализации отбора “случайных” людей в органы, принимающие политические решения. Авторы выделяют несколько подходов к рассматриваемому феномену. Минималисты полагают, что использование политических лотерей и широкие дискуссии между отобранными делегатами могут быть полезными только на локальном уровне и при решении узких вопросов. Инклюзивисты настаивают, что политические лотереи применимы в различных ситуациях и масштаб их применения не следует ограничивать локальным уровнем принятия решений: органы, отобранные с помощью политических лотерей, можно встраивать в систему существующих политических институтов. Наконец, максималисты полагают, что способ отбора позволит сформировать политический режим нового типа, который обеспечит более справедливое представительство интересов граждан. В статье разбираются аргументы и пункты разногласий представителей трех подходов, а также имеющиеся проекты создания “лотерейных” политических институтов. Авторы анализируют причины обращения к практике политических лотерей и, как следствие, определяют преимущества случайного отбора на должности: сокращение коррупционной составляющей в процессе отбора, репрезентативность выборки со статистической точки зрения и снижение значимости традиционных социальных и политических разделительных линий. Авторы приходят к выводу, что политические лотереи имеют и недостатки, среди которых необходимо отметить громоздкость функционирования соответствующих органов и необходимость поиска нового формата сдержек и противовесов.

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