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The processes for allocating places at secondary schools in England are always controversial. School Admissions and Accountability addresses issues relevant to school admissions over the past sixty years, exploring three primary ways it has been done: planning via local authorities, quasi-market mechanisms, and random allocation. Each approach is assessed on its own terms, but also examined via constitutional and legal analysis. The book shows how repeated failure to identify and pursue specific values for school admissions underlies questions regarding the fairness of the process. Interdisciplinary in approach, it makes the issue of school admissions relevant and accessible to a wide readership in education, social policy, and sociolegal studies.?
From the earliest times, people have used lotteries to make decisions--by drawing straws, tossing coins, picking names out of hats, and so on. We use lotteries to place citizens on juries, draft men into armies, assign students to schools, and even on very rare occasions, select lifeboat survivors to be eaten. Lotteries make a great deal of sense in all of these cases, and yet there is something absurd about them. Largely, this is because lottery-based decisions are not based upon reasons. In fact, lotteries actively prevent reason from playing a role in decision making at all. Over the years, people have devoted considerable effort to solving this paradox and thinking about the legitimacy of lotteries as a whole. However, these scholars have mainly focused on lotteries on a case-by-case basis, not as a part of a comprehensive political theory of lotteries. In The Luck of the Draw, Peter Stone surveys the variety of arguments proffered for and against lotteries and argues that they only have one true effect relevant to decision making: the "sanitizing effect" of preventing decisions from being made on the basis of reasons. While this rationale might sound strange to us, Stone contends that in many instances, it is vital that decisions be made without the use of reasons. By developing innovative principles for the use of lottery-based decision making, Stone lays a foundation for understanding when it is--and when it is not--appropriate to draw lots when making political decisions both large and small.
The central feature of every true lottery is that all rational evaluation is deliberately excluded. Once this principle is grasped, the author argues, we can begin to understand exactly what benefits sortition can bring to the political community. The book includes a study of the use of sortition in ancient Athens and in late medieval and renaissance Italy. It also includes commentary on the contributions to sortition made by Machiavelli, Guicciardini, Harrington and Paine; an account of the history of the randomly-selected jury; and new research into lesser-known examples from England, America and revolutionary France.
Before New Labour came to power and when even the prospect of reform of Britain's House of Lords was regarded with scepticism, Anthony Barnett and Peter Carty developed the idea of selecting part of a new upper house by lot: creating a jury or juries, that are representative of the population as a whole while being selected at random, to assess legislation. This new edition of the original proposal includes an account of the reception of the idea, their evidence before the Commission on the Lords established by Tony Blair, and a response to the great advances in citizen-based deliberation that have taken place since the mid-1990s. It concludes with a new appeal to adopt their approach as efforts to reform the Lords continue.
Lotteries are widely used to decide places (seats) at schools, colleges and universities. Conall Boyle explores many examples to find out why. The emotional turmoil that the use of ballots can cause to students and parents alike is graphically described. But lottery selection teaches lessons too; now we can find proper answers to controversial questions like "Does choice work?" This book will be of interest to parents, pupils and teachers as well as educational administrators. Any student applying for admission to a university course should learn about the amazing weighted lottery for entry to medical schools in the Netherlands. There is a better way: it's a lottery!
Two essays, printed back to back in a single volume, offer complementary solutions to the democratic deficit in Britain and the USA. In his book The Party's Over: Blueprint for a Very English Revolution (2004), Keith Sutherland questioned the role of the party in the post-ideological age and concluded that it would be better for government ministers to be appointed by headhunters and held to account by a people's parliament selected by lot. This completely revised and updated edition includes a study of the recent literature on deliberative polling. The American founders proposed that their legislature should be 'an exact portrait, in miniature, of the people at large'. Whether or not this was true at the time, the exponential growth of the population, skyrocketing campaign funding, the power of pressure groups, the grease of the pork-barrel and the dominance of charisma and demagoguery means that the US Constitution could now better be described as a kleptocracy. This pioneering essay proposes selecting Congressional members by random lot (leaving the Senate and Presidency unchanged) to 'restore a direct, powerful voice in Washington to the whole of America'. Originally published in 1985, this new edition includes an introduction by political scientist Peter Stone.
A fresh edition of author's 17th-century treatise, with spellings and explanatory notes.

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