Political Hypotheses and Mathematical Conclusions

  • Paul H. EdelmanEmail author
Part of the Studies in Economic Design book series (DESI)


When modeling or analyzing democratic processes, mathematicians may find themselves in unfamiliar territory: politics. How we proceed mathematically may depend heavily on our conception of representative democracy and theory of government. I will give a number of illustrations to show how contestable political principles lead to differing mathematical analyses. Our mathematical conclusions are inherently governed by our political hypotheses.



The author thanks Ed Cheng, Marcus Pivato, Suzanna Sherry and Bill Zwicker for their helpful comments.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and the Law SchoolVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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