The Keys to Democracy: A Conversation with Hugh Pope and Yves Sintomer

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Sortition — also known as random selection — puts ordinary people in control of decision-making in government. This may seem novel, but it is how the original Athenian democracy worked. In fact, what is new is our belief that electoral systems are democratic. It was self-evident to thinkers from Aristotle to the Renaissance that elections always resulted in oligarchies, or rule by elites.

Coupled with elections, sortition has represented an important yet often neglected dimension of Republican and democratic government, and has been reintroduced in the Global North, China and Mexico.

What lessons can be drawn from history? Why is sortition is returning today, how is it coupled with deliberation, and why are citizens' assemblies flourishing? And what kind of democratic future do we want?

We will discuss all of these questions at this double book launch. DemocracyNext board member Hugh Pope will launch his late father’s brilliant book, The Keys to Democracy: Sortition as a New Model for Citizen Power, in a joint event with Professor Yves Sintomer, who is also releasing a new book, entitled The Government of Chance: Sortition and Democracy from Athens to the Present.

The two authors will discuss the reasons for the historic drift away from democracy by lot, as well as explore why it’s been making a comeback lately in what we have called the deliberative wave (or #Delibwave). Hosted by DemocracyNext Founder/CEO Claudia Chwalisz and moderated by James Harding, cofounder and editor at Tortoise Media.

More info about Pope's book here:

And Sintomer's book here:

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