In Mathematics and Democracy: Designing Better Voting and Fair-Division Procedures (Princeton University Press, 2008), Steven Brams, a professor in New York University’s Department of Politics, shows how social-choice theory and game theory could make political and social institutions more democratic. Using mathematical analysis, he develops rigorous new procedures that enable voters to better express themselves and that allow disputants to divide goods more fairly.
Brams, a leading authority in the use of mathematics to design decision-making processes, is also the author of the recently updated The Presidential Election Game (Yale University Press, 1978; A K Peters: 2008), which employs game theory and decision theory to demonstrate why certain campaign strategies are more effective than others.
In Mathematics and Democracy, one of the procedures that Brams proposes is “approval voting,” which allows voters to vote for as many candidates as they like or consider acceptable. There is no ranking, and the candidate with the most votes wins. The voter no longer has to consider whether a vote for a preferred, but less popular, candidate might be wasted.
Brams has authored Theory of Moves, and is the co-author of The Win-Win Solution: Guaranteeing Fair Shares to Everybody and Fair Division: From Cake-Cutting to Dispute Resolution.
Reporters interested in speaking with Brams should contact James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.