ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Inclusive Constitution Making: Epistemic Considerations on the Icelandic Experiment

Constitutions
Democracy
Political Participation
Political Theory
Referendums and Initiatives
Representation
Knowledge
Helene Landemore
Yale University
Helene Landemore
Yale University
Download Full Paper

Abstract

This paper offers some critical considerations from the perspective of an epistemic deliberative democrat on the recent Icelandic experiment in constitution writing. While the novelty of the experiment and its on-going nature presents a challenge to the observer, it is nonetheless possible to say a few things about the likely epistemic properties of the chosen institutional design. I argue that the constitutional writing process is likely to have produced a good constitution—that is a constitution meeting objective standards of quality—to the extent that it strived for inclusiveness through various methods, such as direct popular participation at all stages of the process, descriptive representation where direct participation wasn’t feasible, and transparency. The paper also discusses some epistemic weaknesses in the process that could have damaged it and speculates about the alternative ways in which the experiment could have been conducted or at least tweaked.