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Telos' Blog

Oct, 2021

The power of voting. A conversation with Jason Brennan

Many citizens complain that politicians do not represent them. But are we really sure that they are aware of the interests they would like to see represented, and of the policies best suited to pursue them? This is not necessarily a paternalistic argument. A strand of political science studies has shown that electoral behaviour very often responds to the logic of identity rather than to a rational choice between alternative policy proposals. When they go to the polls, do these citizens really know who and what they are voting for, or do they behave like fans who only care about seeing their favourite team triumph? This is one of the criticisms to democracy advanced by Jason Brennan, Professor of Public Policy at the Georgetown University, in his best seller Against Democracy (Princeton University Press).

Mariella Palazzolo and Marco Sonsini will have the opportunity to engage in a conversation with Brennan on Thursday 14 October 2021 at 6pm in a live event on the Telos A&S YouTube channel. The meeting will be in English. The Power of Voting is part of the series of events Quell’animale strano del potere (Shall we call power odd and scary beast?), which investigate one of the most controversial issues of all time through the eyes of some of the key contributors to our monthly publication PRIMOPIANOSCALAc, whose interviews have been collected in the bilingual Italian-English volume the collection TWO.

Jason Brennan, one of the most interesting, controversial and challenging contemporary political philosophers, has been described by the Wall Street Journal as ‘one the world's leading academic experts on voting and political knowledge'. With his insight, the limits of democracy and the power of public opinion will be debated. A philosophical discussion that has very ancient roots but has become fundamental today, given the super-freedom of super-speech to which social networks have accustomed us.

The next meetings will be:

18 November 2021, The power of Antitrust with Mark Leddy, Co-Chair of Cleary Gottlieb's Global Antitrust and Competition Practice

16 December 2021, The power of lobbying with Theodoros Koutroubas, Political Science Professor

Always on Thursdays and always at 6 p.m. We look forward to seeing you.


The power of voting. A conversation with Jason Brennan