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Experimenting with Democracy

Experimenting with Democracy

(p.40) Chapter Three Experimenting with Democracy
Accelerating Democracy
John O. McGinnis
Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the rise of empiricism. It describes how empirical findings have made a difference to social policy. It details how the empirical age makes three kind of information-eliciting rules more desirable. The first category encourages decentralization. By permitting jurisdictions to adapt different polices, a political system creates information about the effects of different policies that can then be tested through regression analysis and similar methods. The second category encourages randomization of the application of different policies. The third category is the simplest: rules that make government data more available in the most transparent and useful form. Such rules advance empiricism by offering more material for testing and assessment. Information-eliciting rules also help create a better political culture.

Keywords:   empiricism, social science, social policy, empirical analysis, governance, government data, political culture

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