Is It Time for Lottery-Based Authorities?

Is It Time for Lottery-Based Authorities?

Alekseyeva T.A.,

Professor, Head of Political Theory Department, MGIMO University,

elibrary_id: 1361 |

Loshkariov I.D.,

Lecturer, Political Theory Department, MGIMO University,

elibrary_id: 639886 |

Parenkov D.A.,

Lecturer, Political Theory Department, MGIMO University,

elibrary_id: 701908 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2018.06.10

For citation:

Alekseyeva T.A., Loshkariov I.D., Parenkov D.A. Is It Time for Lottery-Based Authorities? – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No. 6. P. 142-154. (In Russ.).


The article analyzes the concept of political lottery as a way of selecting candidates for power positions as well as a full-fledged political institution. The use of lotteries in this capacity has a long tradition, it can be traced back to the historical experience of ancient Greek policies, namely, Athens. Currently, there is a discussion about the scope of possible use of political lotteries due to deformation of feedback mechanisms between government institutions and society at large. Political lotteries have already been put into practice in a number of countries, including Ireland and Germany. In other states, there is a discussion of the appropriateness and specific forms of implementing the selection of “random” people in the decisionmaking bodies. The authors enumerate several approaches to the given phenomenon. The minimalists believe that the use of political lotteries and implementation of deliberate discussions between selected delegates can be useful only at the local level within narrow-issue framework. Inclusivists insist that political lotteries are applicable in different situations and the scope of their application should not be limited to the local level of decision-making. From this point of view, the randomly selected bodies can be included into the system of already existing political institutions. Finally, the maximalists believe that the selection method will create a new type of political regime that can ensure a more equitable representation of citizens’ interests. The article explores the main arguments and points of disagreement among representatives of the three approaches as well as existing projects for creating “lottery-based” political institutions. The authors analyze the main reasons for applying to the practice of political lotteries and, as a consequence, determine the main advantages of random selection for political positions. Among these advantages are the reduction of the corruption component in the selection process, a statistical representative sample as a result of the process and the decreasing importance of traditional social and political dividing lines. The authors come to the conclusion that political lotteries also have shortcomings such as the awkwardness of the functioning of the lottery-based bodies and the need to search for a new format of checks and balances.

political lottery; political justice; representation; mini-publics; lotocracy.


Buchstein H. Reviving Randomness for Political Rationality: Elements of a Theory of Aleatory Democracy. – Constellations. 2010. Vol. 17. No. 3. P. 435-454.

Burnheim J. Is Democracy Possible? Berkeley: University of California Press. 1985. 164 p.

Carson L., Hartz-Karp J. Adapting and Combining Deliberative Designs: Juries, Polls, and Forums. – The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century. Ed. by J. Gastil, P. Levine. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 2005. P. 120-138.

Courant D. Thinking Sortition. Modes of Selection, Deliberative Frameworks and Democratic Principles. 2009. URL: (accessed 28.09.2018).

Curato N., Boker M. Linking Mini-Publics to the Deliberative System: a Research Agenda. –Policy Sciences. 2016. Vol. 49. No. 2. P. 173-190.

Dahl R.A. After the Revolution? Authority in a Good Society. New Haven-London: Yale University Press. 1970. 146 p.

Dowlen O. The Political Potential of Sortition. A Study of the Random Selection of Citizens for Public Office. Exeter-Charlotesville: Imprint Academic. 2009. 263 p.

Fishkin J.S. The Dialogue of Justice. Toward a Self-Reflective Society. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1992. 243 p.

Garr T.R. Pochemu ljudi buntujut [Why the Men Rebel]. St. Petersburg: Piter. 2005. 461 p. (In Russ.)

Goodin R.E., Dryzek J.S. Deliberative Impacts: the Macro-Political Uptake of Mini-Publics. – Politics & Society. 2006. Vol. 34. No. 2. P. 219-244.

Guerrero A.A. Against Elections: the Lottocratic Alternative. – Philosophy and Public Affairs. 2014. Vol. 42. No. 2. P. 135-178.

Hacker J.S., Pierson P. Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. New York: Simon and Schuster. 2011. 368 p.

Kravchenko S.A., Okhotsky Ye.V. International Cooperation in the Field of Combating Glocalized Corruption. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No. 1. P. 116-128. (In Russ.)

Lang A. But is It for Real? The British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly as a Model of State-Sponsored Citizen Empowerment. – Politics & Society. 2007. Vol. 35. No. 1. P. 35-70.

Lebedeva M.M., Kharkevich M.V., Zinovieva E.S., Koposova E.N. State Archaization: the Role of Information Technologies. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No. 6. P. 22-36. (In Russ.)

Leib E.J. Deliberative Democracy in America: a Proposal for a Popular Branch of Government. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. 2004. 168 p.

MacDonald J. Randomocracy: a Citizen’s Guide to Electoral Reform in British Columbia. Victoria: FCG Publications. 2005. 112 p.

McCormick J.P. Contain the Wealthy and Patrol the Magistrates: Restoring Elite Accountability to Popular Government. – American Political Science Review. 2006. Vol. 100. No. 2. P. 147-163.

Morrill C., Zald M., Rao H. Covert Political Conflict in Organizations: Challenges from Below. – Annual Review of Sociology. 2003. No. 29. P. 391-415.

O’Doherty K.C. Deliberative Public Opinion. Development of a Social Construct. – History of the Human Sciences. 2017. Vol. 30. No. 4. P. 124-145.

Pierre-Etienne V., Verret-Hamelin A. A Randomly Selected Chamber: Promises and Challenges. – Journal of Public Deliberation. 2017. Vol. 13. No. 1. Art. 5. URL: (accessed 16.09.2018).

Princeton Readings in Political Thought. Essential Texts Since Plato. Ed. by M. Cohen, M. Fermon. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1996. 784 p.

Rudenko V.N. Consultative Public Councils in Deliberative Democracy System. – Comparative Constitutional Review. 2007. No. 4. P. 116-124. (In Russ.)

Ryan M., Smith G. Defining Mini-Publics. – Deliberative Mini-Publics. Involving Citizens in the Democratic Process. Ed. by K. Gronlund, A. Bachtiger, M. Setala. Colchester: ECPR Press. 2014. P. 9-26.

Sergeev V.M. Demokratija kak peregovornyj process [Democracy as Negotiation Process]. Moscow: Mosсow Public Scientific Fund. 1999. 146 p. (In Russ.)

Smith G. Democratic Innovations: Designing Institutions for Citizen Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2009. 232 p.

Stone P. Sortition, Voting, and Democratic Equality. – Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. 2016. Vol. 19. No. 3. P. 339-356.

Stone P. The Luck of the Draw: the Role of Lotteries in Decision Making. New York: Oxford University Press. 2011. 208 p.

Tormey S. The End of Representative Politics. Cambridge: Polity Press. 2015. 200 p. 

Content No. 6, 2018

В статье анализируется понятие политической лотереи – не только как способа отбора кандидатов на властные должности, но и как полноценного политического института. Использование лотерей в таком качестве имеет давнюю традицию, уходящую корнями в опыт древнегреческих полисов – прежде всего Афин. В наши дни политические лотереи применяются в ряде государств, в том числе в Ирландии и Германии. В других государствах обсуждаются целесообразность и конкретные формы реализации отбора “случайных” людей в органы, принимающие политические решения. Авторы выделяют несколько подходов к рассматриваемому феномену. Минималисты полагают, что использование политических лотерей и широкие дискуссии между отобранными делегатами могут быть полезными только на локальном уровне и при решении узких вопросов. Инклюзивисты настаивают, что политические лотереи применимы в различных ситуациях и масштаб их применения не следует ограничивать локальным уровнем принятия решений: органы, отобранные с помощью политических лотерей, можно встраивать в систему существующих политических институтов. Наконец, максималисты полагают, что способ отбора позволит сформировать политический режим нового типа, который обеспечит более справедливое представительство интересов граждан. В статье разбираются аргументы и пункты разногласий представителей трех подходов, а также имеющиеся проекты создания “лотерейных” политических институтов. Авторы анализируют причины обращения к практике политических лотерей и, как следствие, определяют преимущества случайного отбора на должности: сокращение коррупционной составляющей в процессе отбора, репрезентативность выборки со статистической точки зрения и снижение значимости традиционных социальных и политических разделительных линий. Авторы приходят к выводу, что политические лотереи имеют и недостатки, среди которых необходимо отметить громоздкость функционирования соответствующих органов и необходимость поиска нового формата сдержек и противовесов.

&rft.issue=6&rft.spage=142&rft.epage=154&rft.tpage=142-154&rft.number=&rft.year=2018&rft.issn=0321-2017&rft.shorttitle=&rft.subject=политическая лотерея; политическая справедливость; представительство; мини-общества; лотократия& T.A.& I.D.& D.A.">

See also:

Habermas J.,
Religion, law and politics. – On political justice in a multicultural World-Society. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No2

Peregudov S.P.,
Russia’s political system: experience of social engineering projections (based on the materials of the ISP report). – Polis. Political Studies. 2009. No6

Bolshakov A.G.,
Our political transformation: the completion or a pause?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No2

Solovyov A.I.,
A sketch by a master: political system of post-soviet Russia in Sergey Peregudov’s version. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No3

Shestopal Ye.B.,
Introducing the section. The human dimension of politics. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No6



Introducing an article

Polis. Political Studies
5 2002

Nechayev V.D.
Cognitive Revolutions and Institutional Changes

(электронная версия)


   2024      2023      2022      2021   
   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991