In this Article, I will first lay out what I describe as the crude Downsian approach to political democracy and the skepticism about democracy that this has generated. Then, I will lay out some basic problems with this approach and show how the skepticism is not warranted. I will then embark on the task of developing an alternative Downsian approach to political democracy that I think is truer to Downs’s view and that is more sophisticated and interesting. This will include a brief sketch of motivation, and an account of the economics of information in politics. I will then try to show that the skepticism that is expressed as a result of the crude Downsian approach is not warranted on the more sophisticated approach. Finally, I will argue that the enhancement of workers’ voice in the workplace, either through union representation or through more direct forms of participation, can have a significant impact on the quality of participation in political democracy and can enhance the political power of workers. I will try to show how the more sophisticated Downsian picture can generate this result and I will advance some empirical evidence to this effect. All of this is a way of meshing philosophical ideas with analytical and empirical social science, which I will try to articulate in the Article. At the very end, I will handle some objections to the approach.
Democracy, Participation, and Information: Complementarity Between Political and Economic Institutions,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol56/iss4/6