Hélène Landemore

Hélène Landemore's picture
Professor of Political Science


115 Prospect Street, Rosenkranz Hall, Room 201
1(203) 432-5824
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  • Ph.D., Political Science, Harvard University 2008
  • Master (with High Honors), Philosophy, Sorbonne-Paris I, 2001
  • Master (with High Honors), Political Science, Sciences-Po, Paris, 2000
  • Honorific, non-degree program in the Humanities, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (Academic Merit scholarship), 1996-2000


Hélène is Professor of Political Science (with a specialization in political theory). Her research and teaching interests include democratic theory, political epistemology, theories of justice, the philosophy of social sciences (particularly economics), constitutional processes and theories, and workplace democracy.

Hélène is the author of Hume (Presses Universitaires de France: 2004), a historical and philosophical investigation of David Hume’s theory of decision-making; Democratic Reason (Princeton University Press: 2013, Spitz prize 2015), an epistemic defense of democracy; Open Democracy (Princeton University Press 2020), a vision for a new kind, more open form of democracy based on non-electoral forms of representation, including representation based on random selection; and Debating Democracy (Oxford University Press 2021), with Jason Brennan, where she argues against her co-author that we need more rather than less democracy.

Hélène has also co-edited a volume on Collective Wisdom (Cambridge University Press 2012) with Jon Elster (Columbia University) and a volume on Digital Technology and Democratic Theory (Chicago University Press 2020with Lucy Bernholz and Rob Reich (Stanford University).

Her articles have been published in, among others, Journal of Political PhilosophyPolitical TheoryPolitics, Philosophy, and EconomicsPolitical PsychologySocial Epistemology;  Synthese; the Swiss Review of Political Science; the Journal of Politics and International Journal of Constitutional Law.

Her research has been featured in the New York Times, the Boston Review, Slate, the Washington Post, L’Humanité, Le Monde, and recently the New Yorker.  She was recently a guest on Ezra Klein’s New York Times podcast.

In the past Hélène has taught various courses, including “Introduction to Political Philosophy,” “Justice in Western Thought,” “Directed Studies,” “Beyond Representative Government,” “Deliberative Democracy and Beyond,” “Political Epistemology,” and “Political Authority.” In 2014 she won a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for her interdisciplinary lecture course “How Do We Choose, and Choose Well.” 

Hélène Landemore advised the Parliament of Finland on a crowdsourced policy-making reform in 2013 and the French Parliament on inclusive decision-making in 2018. She is currently serving as expert consultant for the French government on a committee evaluating the CESE (Economic, Social and Environmental Council)’s experimentation with randomly selected citizens.

Hélène is currently working with a group of female researchers (led by Isabelle Ferreras, Julie Battilana, and Dominique Méda) who started the movement Democratizing Work in May 2020. Our first publication as a group is coming out this Fall in French with Le Seuil (and later in multiple translations in various countries) under the title “The Work Manifesto.”





  • Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many (Princeton, Princeton University Press 2013)
  • Hume. Probabilité et choix raisonnable (Paris: PUF, 2004)
  • Edited volume: Collective Wisdom: Principles and Mechanisms (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012). First editor, with Jon Elster

Peer Reviewed Articles:

  • “When Public Participation Matters: the 2010-2013 Icelandic Constitutional Process,” International Journal of Constitutional Law, forthcoming
  • “Referendums Are Never Merely Referendums: On the Need to Make Popular Vote Processes More Deliberative.” Swiss Review of Political Science 24(3): 320–327, 2018
  • “Political Epistemology in the Age of Alternative Facts: On World-Building, Truth-Tracking, and Arendtian Vacillations in Linda Zerilli’s A Democratic Theory of Judgment,” Political Theory 46(4): 611-623, 2018
  • “Inclusive Constitution-Making and Religious Rights: Lessons from the Icelandic Experiment,” Journal of Politics 79(3): 762-779, 2017
  • “Beyond the Fact of Disagreement? The Epistemic Turn in Deliberative Democracy,” Journal of Social Epistemology, forthcoming  (accepted August 2016)
  • “Unmasking the Crowd: Participants’ Motivation Factors, Expectations, and Profile in a Crowdsourced Law Reform” (with Tanja Aitamurto and Jorge S. Galli), Information, Communication, and Society, forthcoming (accepted August 2016)
  • “Crowdsourced Deliberation: The Case of an Off-Traffic Law Reform in Finland” (with Tanja Aitamurto) Policy & Internet May 2016 DOI: 10.1002/poi3.115
  • “In Defense of Workplace Democracy: Toward a Justification of the Firm/State Analogy” (first author, with Isabelle Ferreras) Political Theory 44(1): 53-81, 2016
  • “Inclusive Constitution-Making: The Icelandic Experiment.” Journal of Political Philosophy 23(2): 166-191, 2015
  • “Deliberation and Disagreement: Problem Solving, Prediction, and Positive Dissensus” (with Scott E. Page). Philosophy, Politics, and Economics 14(3) : 229-254, 2015
  • “Neither Blind, nor Mute: Why the People Shouldn’t Give Up on the Voice.” Political Theory 42 (2): 192-197, 2014
  • “Reasoning is for Arguing: Explaining the Successes and Failures of Deliberation” (second author, with Hugo Mercier), Political Psychology 33: 243-, 2012
  • “Deliberation, Cognitive Diversity, and Democratic Inclusiveness: An Epistemic Argument for the Random Selection of Representatives.” Synthese 190(7): 1209-1231, 2012
  • “Politics and the Economist-King: Is Rational Choice Theory the Science of Choice?” Journal of Moral Philosophy 1.2, 2004: 185-207 

Classes taught - Undergraduate courses:

  • “Introduction to Political Philosophy” (lecture course), Fall 2017 and Fall 2018
  • “How do we choose, and choose well” (lecture course), Spring 2015 and Fall 2015
  • “Beyond Representative Government” (seminar), Spring 2014 and Fall 2015
  • “Directed Studies” (History & Politics), Spring 2011 and Spring 2012
  • “Justice in Western Thought” (lecture course), Fall 2009 and 2010
  • “Freedom” (seminar) Spring 2010

Classes taught -Graduate Courses:

  • “Political Epistemology” (graduate seminar), Spring 2018
  • “Deliberative Democracy and Beyond”, Spring 2010 and 2016
  • “Philosophy of Science for the Study of Politics”, co-taught with Ian Shapiro
  • “Research & Writing” (co-taught with Allan Dafoe), Fall 2013 and Spring 2014
  • “Introduction to Political Theory,” co-taught with Ian Shapiro
  • “Political Authority,” Spring 2011

Awards and Nominations:

  • 2018 - APSA “Ideas, Knowledge, and Politics” Best Book Award for Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many (Princeton University Press 2013)
  • 2017 - Nominated for the Brown Medal of Democracy (second and final round)
  • 2015 - David and Elaine Spitz Prize (best book in liberal/democratic theory from two years earlier) for Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many
  • 2015 - Nominated for the Brown Medal of Democracy (first round)
  • 2014-16 - ‘Enduring Questions’ competitive grant ($25,000) from the National Endowment for the Humanities for lecture course ‘How Do We Choose and Choose Well’
  • 2010 - Montreal Political Theory Manuscript Workshop Award for then book manuscript Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many

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