Democracy & Political Ignorance

Co-sponsored by the Georgetown Student Chapter, the Faculty Division, and the Georgetown Center for the Constitution
Start : Tuesday, October 22, 2013 12:00 PM
End : Tuesday, October 22, 2013 01:15 PM

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Georgetown University Law Center
McDonough Hall, Room 203
600 New Jersey Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20001

Featured Speakers:
Ilya Somin
Bryan Caplan
Louis Michael Seidman
Randy E. Barnett


Democracy and Political IgnoranceMany people would agree that political ignorance is rampant within America today. But what exactly is political ignorance? The average person does not make particularly well informed decisions at the voting booths, if they cast their vote at all. Many say this is because they believe their vote is unlikely to actually make a difference in any given election. Therefore, the reasoning goes, investing time into becoming more politically informed is not worth it. In his new book, Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter, Prof. Ilya Somin proposes a unique solution to the problem of pandemic political ignorance: limit the size and scope of government and return more power to the states. Somin argues that, while people may lack the incentives to make informed decisions when they cast their vote, they do have incentives to gain useful knowledge about what transactions to make in a market economy and which state or local governments they prefer to live beneath.

Join the Federalist Society's Faculty Division, the Georgetown Federalist Society, and the Georgetown Center for the Constitution for a discussion of the nature of political ignorance and how to solve the problems it causes.


  • Ilya Somin: Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Bryan Caplan: Professor of Economics, George Mason University
  • Louis Michael Seidman: Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Introduction by: Randy Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown University Law Center

If you would like to purchase Professor Somin's new book, please click here.

Registration details:

There is no cost to attend the event.

Please register online as space is limited.

Related Materials:
Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter
Democracy & Political Ignorance - Event Video