The practice of selecting citizens randomly for public office played a vital role in the consolidation and defence of ancient Athenian democracy. It was also widely used in the republics and communes of late medieval Europe. It survives mainly in the form of the randomly-selected jury.
By examining the nature of the lottery process itself, this pamphlet explores the positive values that this procedure can bring to modern democracy: how the systematic, principled application of random recruitment can help establish models of democracy where the citizens would have a vital role in protecting the political process against corruption and the misuse of power.
The Greek translation of this work (first published in Spanish translation in 2017) brings these ideas back to the point of their birth and is especially pertinent since it offers a forward-looking trajectory in a time of great turbulence and uncertainty.
Oliver Dowlen (PhD. Oxford, 2006) is an independent researcher affiliated to Sciences Po (Paris). In 2006-2007, he was awarded the Sir Ernest Baker Prize for Best Dissertation in Political Theory. Recent work includes a study of (randomly selected) Citizens’ Parliamentary Groups in UK and Australian constitutional contexts sponsored by the newDemocracy Foundation.