Monday 5 December 2016
Level 9, Room 920
Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Inclusive Constitution-Making and Religious Rights: Lessons from the Icelandic Experiment
Associate Professor Hélène Landemore, Department of Political Science, Yale University
The 2010-2013 Icelandic constitutional process offers a unique opportunity to test the predictions of epistemic deliberative democrats as well as some constitutional scholars that more inclusive processes lead to better outcomes. After briefly retracing the religious history of Iceland and the steps of the recent constitutional process, the paper thus compares three constitutional proposals drafted at about the same time to replace the 1944 Icelandic constitution. Two of these drafts were written by 7 government experts; the third one was written by a group of 25 lay-citizens, who further crowdsourced their successive drafts to the larger public. The paper suggests that on the question of religious rights the crowdsourced constitutional proposal indeed led to a marginally “better” (smarter and more liberal) constitutional document.
Hélène Landemore is Associate Professor of Political Science.
Her current research interests include democratic theory, theories of justice, the philosophy of social sciences (particularly economics), constitutional processes and theories, and workplace democracy.