Special Issue: Deliberation and Aggregation

Authors are invited to submit papers that contribute to understand how, and when, deliberation and aggregation can be conjoined in order to arrive at better processes of collective attitude formation. Social Choice and Welfare (SCW) mainly publishes high-quality papers studying models of welfare economics and collective choice. Conceptual or philosophical papers that are of exceptional quality and close to the core topics of the journal will also be considered for this special issue.

Deadlines      Paper Submission Deadline: November 15th, 2020

Submit complete papers for peer review through the link to the electronic submission system on https://www.springer.com/journal/355, choosing the Special Issue on “Deliberation and Aggregation” from the drop-down list during submission. Please note in the cover letter as well that the submission is meant for the Special Issue on “Deliberation and Aggregation.”

Submissions accepted before the completion of the issue will be published ‘online first’ in SCW, they will be fully citable with the DOI.

Guest Editors: Mikaël Cozic, Université Paris-Est Créteil, France, mikael.cozic@u-pec.fr and Olivier Roy, University of Bayreuth, Olivier.Roy@uni-bayreuth.de

Background:  Preferences and beliefs are routinely attributed to groups. A jury can believe the accused to be guilty, and a professional board can officially voice its disapproval of certain practices by its members. The special issue aims at putting together contributions that take steps towards bridging the gap between the two main paradigms in formal philosophy and economics on the formation of such collective attitudes: the deliberative and aggregative views. On the deliberative view, group attitudes stem from a consensus reached after a (more or less) structured exchange of opinions. On the aggregative view, group attitudes are formed by putting together the possibly diverging views of individuals, through a formal voting procedure for instance.

Deliberation and aggregation are typically both involved in collective attitude formation. We cannot deliberate endlessly. When disagreements persist, aggregating, e.g. by voting, might be the only way to arrive at a group opinion. So deliberation and aggregation are not competing, but complementary approaches. Up to now, however, they have mostly been studied separately. This is an important limitation, and many authors have defended the view that deliberation and aggregation can enhance each other: Deliberation can support meaningful aggregation, for instance by preventing preference cycles. On the other hand specific forms of aggregation can possibly help overcome some of the negative effects of deliberation, for instance by minimizing strategic behavior in deliberation, or attenuating the effects of polarization and groupthink.

The goal of this special issue is to put together a number of original articles that further our understanding of how, and when, deliberation and aggregation can be conjoined in order to arrive at better processes of collective attitude formation. The overarching question is how deliberation can be better geared towards aggregation, and how to enrich current models of belief and preference aggregation to make them more amenable to the results of deliberation.