The Luck of the Draw: The Role of Lotteries in Decision Making

I’ve been commissioned to write an ‘in brief’ review of Peter Stone’s new book (OUP, 2011) for Times Higher Education but wanted to bring up a couple of points here that I can’t squeeze into their measly 60-word limit. The book is an attempt at a theoretical clarification of lotteries as an equitable method for the ‘allocation of [scarce] goods’ and ‘assignment of responsibilities’ (both wanted and unwanted) (p.13), Peter’s thesis being that the distinguishing feature of the lottery is its ‘sanitizing effect’ (p.16). This is on account of the essentially arational nature of the lottery – it serves an entirely negative function by shielding the decision process from reasons of any kind (good or bad), therefore protecting it from partiality and corruption.

A lottery is a process capable of generating a set of outcomes, in which the particular outcome to be expected whenever the process occurs is unpredictable given available information (p.20).

Much of the book deals with allocative justice and covers similar ground to Barbara Goodwin’s Justice by Lottery but from a rigorous theoretical perspective that is hard to disagree with (presupposing certain Rawlsian assumptions).
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“The Common Lot: Take Off” novel

I have just completed a novel based on a Citizen Legislature selected by sortition.  It is provisionally titled “The Common Lot: Take Off”.  I have posted the first three chapters on website www.TheCommonLot.com.

This is an excision, re-write and update of a longer novel written twenty-five years ago.  The original follows six newly sortitioned legislators.  The re-write follows only two of those but mentions the other four.  This version ends in an open-ended manner that is intended to lead to sequels that would follow the other four.

I would appreciate assistance and advice in finding an agent, editor and publisher.

Thank you, David Grant