A woman voting.
Photo: Element5 Digital

On the epistemic challenge to democracy

Research project

Short description

This dissertation normatively examines the epistocratic challenge to democracy; that is, whether a scheme of restricted voting, “rule of the wise”, should replace democracy.

This is inquired into from different perspectives, such as voting and risk, the ethics of voting, and blameworthiness and voting. The dissertation also takes into account several moral objections to a scheme of restricted voting, such as the value of the right to vote, the notion that citizens in a democracy have “a right to vote badly”, and the problems of deciding who possesses the “correct” or adequate knowledge and wisdom. The objective is to determine which scheme is more normatively attractive – an epistocracy where political outcomes are presumed to be better, or a democracy where everyone has a say.

Key words

  • epistocracy
  • elite rule
  • political knowledge
  • political power
  • democracy
  • right to vote
  • the will of the people.

Field of political science: political theory.