Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Majoritarianism

  • Nicolaus Tideman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_321

Majoritarianism is the idea that collective decisions are made rightly when they reflect the views of the majority.

When there are more than two options, it can happen that no option reflects the views of the majority. It is not clear whether majoritarianism has implications for such cases. One possible interpretation of majoritarianism for such cases involves the “Condorcet criterion.” This is the criterion that if there is an option that secures a majority when paired head-to-head against every other option, then that option is the one that should be chosen. Most but not all voting theorists agree that voting rules for selecting among more than two options should satisfy the Condorcet criterion.

Even if majoritarianism is accepted and the Condorcet criterion is accepted as an expression of majoritarianism, that does not resolve all issues with respect to which option should be chosen when there are more than two, because of the possibility of majority-rule cycles. A majority-rule...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolaus Tideman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA