In the spirit of Jeremy Bentham's Political Tactics, this volume offers the first comprehensive discussion of the effects of secrecy and publicity on debates and votes in committees and assemblies. The contributors - sociologists, political scientists, historians, legal scholars - consider the micro-technology of voting (the devil is in the detail), the historical relations between the secret ballot and universal suffrage, the use and abolition of secret voting in parliamentary decisions, and the sometimes perverse effects of the drive for greater openness and transparency in public affairs. The authors also discuss the normative questions of secret versus public voting in national elections and of optimal mixes of secrecy and publicity, as well as the opportunities for strategic behavior created by different voting systems. Together with two previous volumes on Collective Wisdom (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Majority Decisions (Cambridge University Press, 2014), the book sets a new standard for interdisciplinary work on collective decision-making.
Jon Elster is Robert K. Merton Professor of Social Science at Columbia University. He has also taught at the Universite de Paris V, the University of Oslo, the University of Chicago, and the College de France. He is author of twenty-three monographs, translated into eighteen languages, and editor or co-editor of twenty-one volumes. Elster has held positions in departments of philosophy, history, sociology, political science, and economics and has published articles in journals spanning across these fields, as well as in law journals. He is a member of five scientific academies, has received honorary doctorates from seven universities, and has delivered over two dozen named lectures, including the Tanner lectures.
Introduction Jon Elster; 1. Public voting and political modernization: different views from the nineteenth century and new ideas to modernize voting procedures Hubertus Buchstein; 2. Semi-public voting at the Constituante Jon Elster and Arnaud le Pillouer; 3. The introduction of the vote by ballot in the election of the Syndics of the Republic of Geneva (1707) Raphael Barat; 4. Suffrage and voting secrecy in general elections Adam Przeworski; 5. Secret voting in the Italian Parliament Daniela Giannetti; 6. Open decision-making procedures and public legitimacy: an inventory of causal mechanisms Jenny de Fine Licht and Daniel Naurin; 7. How publicity creates opacity: what happens when EU ministers vote publicly Stephanie Novak; 8. Secret-public voting in FDA advisory committees Philippe Urfalino and Pascaline Costa; 9. Disclosed and undisclosed vote in Constitutional/Supreme Courts Pasquale Pasquino; 10. Why open voting in general elections is undesirable Bernard Manin; 11. Open-secret voting Adrian Vermeule; 12. Secret votes and secret talk John Ferejohn.