New research shows lotteries preferred to elections in schools

We are excited to share new research that explores our Student Government Lotteries projects and shows that a majority of students and teachers preferred lotteries to student elections and recommended using them in other schools. The research also gives insight into the reasons that stakeholders gave for their preferences and supports the idea that randomly-selected representatives can be seen as legitimate.

The article, titled “Democracy Transformed: Perceived Legitimacy of the Institutional Shift from Election to Random Selection of Representatives” was published in the Journal of Public Deliberation and was co-authored by Simon Pek, Jeffrey Kennedy, and Adam Cronkright. The article is based on research funded by the newDemocracy Foundation (Australia), and involved 67 interviews with students and staff at two of the schools we have worked in. The article is Open Access and can be downloaded for free from the Journal’s website.

Simon Pek is an Assistant Professor of Sustainability and Organization Theory at the Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, Jeff Kennedy is a doctoral candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, and Adam Cronkright is a co-founder of Democracy in Practice and was jointly responsible for implementing these projects on the ground. Simon and Jeff also currently sit on our Board of Directors.

We’re continuing to advance the use of Student Government Lotteries with three projects on the ground this year, and look forward to others building on these findings and taking this research into new directions!

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