© 2020

Epistemic Democracy and Political Legitimacy


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Ethics and Public Policy book series (PASEPP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Ivan Cerovac
    Pages 1-17
  3. Ivan Cerovac
    Pages 19-71
  4. Ivan Cerovac
    Pages 73-112
  5. Ivan Cerovac
    Pages 113-156
  6. Ivan Cerovac
    Pages 157-196
  7. Ivan Cerovac
    Pages 197-236
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 237-242

About this book


“With increased attention to the quality of democratic decisions, political philosophers have recently been exploring anew what role expertise and public deliberation might properly play. Ivan Cerovac provides an excellent critical survey of these live debates around epistemic democracy, and proposes his own nuanced view […] his original arguments should be confronted by all those interested in recent developments in democratic theory.”

—David Estlund, Lombardo Family Professor of Philosophy, Brown University, USA

"This carefully argued book provides a helpful overview of a wide range of theories of democratic legitimacy, covering pure deliberative approaches, pragmatist approaches and […] its own version of deliberative epistemic democracy. What is particularly compelling about Cerovac’s own account is its broad understanding of political deliberation, which is sensitive to epistemic injustices resulting from social and economic inequalities.”

—Fabienne Peter, Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick, UK

This compelling new book explores whether the ability of democratic procedures to produce correct outcomes increases the legitimacy of such political decisions. Mapping and critically engaging with the main theories of epistemic democracy, it additionally evaluates arguments for different democratic decision-making procedures related to aggregative and deliberative democracy. Addressing both positions that are too epistemic, such as Epistrocracy and Scholocracy, as well as those that are not epistemic enough, such as Pure Epistemic Proceduralism and Pragmatist Deliberative Democracy, Cerovac builds an innovative structure that can be used to bring order to numerous accounts of epistemic democracy. Introducing an appropriate account of epistemic democracy, Cerovac proceeds to analyse whether such epistemic value is better achieved through aggregative or deliberative procedures. Drawing particularly on the work of David Estlund, and including a discussion on the implementation of the epistemic ideal to real world politics, this is a fascinating read for all those interested in democratic decision-making. 


Epistemic justification Democratic legitimacy Experts Truth Decision-making John Rawls Political nihilism Pragmatism Epistocracy Epistemic populism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of RijekaRijekaCroatia

About the authors

Ivan Cerovac  is a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka, Croatia. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Trieste, Italy, and writes and teaches on a range of topics in ethics and political philosophy, including political legitimacy, social justice and democratic theory.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Epistemic Democracy and Political Legitimacy
  • Authors Ivan Cerovac
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in Ethics and Public Policy
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in Ethics and Public Policy
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-44601-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-44604-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-44602-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVII, 242
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 4 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Political Philosophy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site