Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
In Our NameThe Ethics of Democracy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Eric Beerbohm

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154619

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154619.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

The Division of Democratic Labor

The Division of Democratic Labor

(p.166) Chapter 7 The Division of Democratic Labor
In Our Name

Eric Beerbohm

Princeton University Press

This chapter proposes cost-saving cognitive strategies for citizens to exhibit their decision-making virtues economically. It shows how individual citizens can come to rely on credentialed experts to form and act upon empirical beliefs that bear upon their judgments of distributive justice. Before explaining how the horizontal division of democratic labor works, the chapter considers the structure of the agency problem of representative democracy as well as the intuition that complicity remains a moral hazard of democratic citizenship. It then presents a thought experiment that illustrates how demanding and disruptive our decision making would be in a plebiscitary democracy. It also discusses three principles that can help citizens reduce the decisional burdens of their office: the usability principle, the peer principle, and the triage principle. The chapter concludes by defending a companion principle whose aim is to give citizens guidance when they can offload their decision-making responsibilities.

Keywords:   citizens, distributive justice, democratic labor, agency, democracy, citizenship, decision making, usability principle, peer principle, triage principle

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.