Publication Details

Carson, L & Martin, B, Random selection of citizens for technological decision making, Science and Public Policy, 2002, 29(2), 105-113. Published by Beech Tree Publishing. The original journal can be found here.


Random selection provides a way to overcome some of the usual problems of citizen participation in technological decision making. It offers representativeness with a minimum of bias and susceptibility to vested interests. There are a number of requirements for the effectiveness of the random selection approach, such as that citizens are interested and capable of rational deliberation. A number of recent experiments with policy juries and planning cells are assessed to see how well they satisfy the requirements for the effectiveness of the approach. While random selection shows great promise as a means for involving citizens in technological decision making, there are obstacles to promoting the use of this approach for policy purposes, perhaps especially because it so effectively circumscribes the role of political elites.



Link to publisher version (DOI)