Counting the many: The origins and limits of supermajority rule

Melissa Schwartzberg

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    Abstract

    Supermajority rules govern many features of our lives in common: From the selection of textbooks for our children's schools to residential covenants, from the policy choices of state and federal legislatures to constitutional amendments. it is usually assumed that these rules are not only normatively unproblematic but necessary to achieve the goals of institutional stability, consensus, and minority protections. in this book, Melissa Schwartzberg challenges the logic underlying the use of supermajority rule as an alternative to majority decision making. She traces the hidden history of supermajority decision making, which originally emerged as an alternative to unanimous rule, and highlights the tensions in the contemporary use of supermajority rules as an alternative to majority rule. Although supermajority rules ostensibly aim to reduce the purported risks associated with majority decision making, they do so at the cost of introducing new liabilities associated with the biased judgments they generate and secure.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages237
    ISBN (Electronic)9781139013970
    ISBN (Print)9780521198233
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

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    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)

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