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The Lottery as a Democratic Institution: A Workshop

Speaker Biographies

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Yann Allard-Tremblay

Yann Allard-Tremblay has just been examined for his PhD in the joint programme in Philosophy of the University of St Andrews and the University of Stirling. His thesis addresses the relationship between a procedural epistemic theory of democracy and constitutionalism. His main research interests are on theories of democracy, various notions of jurisprudence such as authority and legitimacy, and epistemology. He has recently published a paper in Res Publica on the epistemic edge of majority voting over lottery voting. He also has a paper forthcoming in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies on the topic of judicial review within a procedural and epistemic theory of democracy.

Hubertus Buchstein

Hubertus Buchstein is Professor and Chair of Political Theory and the History of Political Ideas at Greifswald University, Germany. He studied Political Science, History, Philosophy and German Literature at Freie University Berlin and completed his dissertation on the History of Political Science in Germany at FU Berlin in 1990. He later took positions at the FU and was Affiliated Faculty member at the New School for Research in New York between 1995 and 2003. Since September 2009 he is serving as President of the Germal Political Science Association (DVPW). He will be Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in the academic year of 2012/13. His main research topics are procedures of political will formation and electoral rules, modern theories of democracy, the history of political ideas, and right-wing extremism in Germany. Recent publications include his books ‘Demokratie und Lotterie’ (2009), ‘Demokratietheorie in der Kontroverse’ (2010), and ‘Demokratiepolitk’ (2011) as well as the articles: (together with Michael Hein) Randomizing Europe. The Lottery as a Decision-Making Procedure for Policy Creation in the EU. In: Critical Policy Studies 3:1, 29–57 and (together with Dirk Jörke): The Argumentative Turn Toward Deliberative Democracy: Habermas’s Contribution and the Foucauldian Critique. In: Frank Fischer/Herbert Gottweis (Hrsg.): The Argumentative Turn Revisited: Public Policy as Communicative Practice. Durham, London 2012: Duke University Press, 271–304.

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Ètienne Chouard

Etienne Chouard teaches Economics in Marseille.

Since the referendum on the European unconstitutional treaty in 2005, he has been searching (out of any party or political movement) the cause of the causes of social injustices, and he works particularly on two popular priorities: the constitutional process and the creation of money (which, according to him, should both be placed under a severe and daily citizen control).

He invites us to become aware of the centrality of the drawing by lot in any democracy worthy of the name (specially and primarily to designate a Constituent Assembly without fundamental conflicts of interest), and to give back their real meaning to the most important words for resisting:

  • democracy
  • universal suffrage
  • constitution
  • citizen
  • etc..

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Gil Delannoi

Gil Delannoi is a fellow of the Centre de recherches politiques, professor of political theory at Sciences-Po Paris and visiting professor at different universities. His 2013 lectures are: "History and Theory of Democracy" and "A Comparison of Political Forms". His interests include: political philosophy, political theory and history of ideas. His most recent publication on sortition is: « On Several Kinds of Democracy » in Delannoi (Gil) (ed.), Direct Democracy and Sortition, a volume in the series Cahier du Cevipof, n 56, Paris, avril 2012, p.5-18. Available on line: Cahier du Cevipof, n 56, Paris, avril 2012, 97 p. [ISSNe 2114-6446]

Oliver Dowlen

Oliver Dowlen is an independent scholar specialising in the random selection of citizens for public office. After working as a teacher and practitioner in the arts, he took a part time MPhil in Politics in 1999 at the University of Hertfordshire and then a full-time DPhil at New College, Oxford, graduating in 2007. The subject for his MPhil was Marx’s Concept of Alienation. For his doctorate, however, he investigated the political value of selecting citizens for public office by lottery. His doctoral thesis was joint winner of the Sir Ernest Barker prize for best thesis in political theory for 2006-7; it has since been published. In recent years he has been joint organiser of the CEVIPOF seminar series on the political use of sortition funded by Sciences Po, Paris. In October 2012 he will be taking up an ISRF Early Career Fellowship at Queen Mary College, UCL to study the benefits of using randomly-selected citizens in transitions to democracy.

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Stephen Elstub

Stephen Elstub is a Senior lecturer in Politics at the University of the West of Scotland. Stephen’s research interests are on the cusp between democracy in theory and practice, particularly in relation to deliberative democracy and its institutionalisation in practice.  In particular, he has both conceptual and empirical research interests in multi-level governance, with particular emphasis on the role of civil society within these processes, and he has published broadly on these topics. His current and previous research has focused on civil society organisations and their contribution to deliberative and democratic processes in relation to an array of institutions including: quangos, the European Union, the voluntary and community sector, partisan forums and minipublics. He is currently researching into elite deliberation in the UK Leaders’ Debates in the 2010 general election campaign. He is the author of Towards a Deliberative and Associational Democracy (2008, Edinburgh University Press) and editor of Democracy in Theory and Practice (2012, Routledge). Since 2009 he has convened the UK Political Studies Association Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group ( In 2008 he accepted an invitation to join the Royal Society of Arts and has been a Fellow since.

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David Farrell

David Farrell is Head of Politics and International Relations at UCD.  He was appointed to the Chair of Politics at UCD in 2009.  Prior to that he was Professor and Head of School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester.  A specialist in the study of electoral systems, political parties and parliamentary representation, Professor Farrell's most recent books include: Electoral Systems (a six-volume reader; co-edited with Matthew Shugart), Sage 2012, Political Parties and Democratic Linkage (co-authored with Russell Dalton and Ian McAllister) Oxford University Press, 2011, and Electoral Systems: A Comparative Introduction (second edition), Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. He is the co-editor of Party Politics and of the Oxford University Press book series on 'Comparative Politics'.  Professor Farrell's most recent project was as research director of the We the Citizens initiative that ran throughout 2011 and was funded by Atlantic Philanthropies.

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Jane Suiter

Dr Jane Suiter is a lecturer in the School of Communications at Dublin City University. She has a particular research interest in new communication methods and in deliberative and participative democracy and was an academic member on We the Citizens.

Peter Stone

Peter Stone is Ussher Assistant Professor of Political Science (Political Theory) at Trinity College Dublin. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 2000. Before moving to Trinity, he taught Political Science at Stanford University and held a Faculty Fellowship at Tulane University’s Center for Ethics and Public Affairs. He works in contemporary political theory, with particular interest in theories of justice, democratic theory, rational choice theory, and the philosophy of social science. He is the author of The Luck of the Draw: The Role of Lotteries in Decision Making (Oxford University Press, 2011) and the editor of Lotteries in Public Life: A Reader (Imprint Academic, 2011). He has also published articles in such journals as the Journal of Political Philosophy, the Journal of Theoretical Politics, Political Theory, Rationality and Society, and Social Theory and Practice. He is an occasional contributor to the blog Equality by Lot (

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Antoine Vergne

Antoine Vergne studied Political Sciences in France and Germany. He earned his PhD from a binational cotutelle programm at the Freie Universität in Berlin and the Institut d'Études Politiques in Paris. He's work concentrated on the theory and practice of Aleatorian Democracy. He is now a fellow consultant in the French firm Missions Publiques, which supports public authorities in the design, implementation and facilitation of processes of public participation and deliberation.

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Last updated 13 June 2014 .