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Models and reality: the curious case of the absent abstention

Felsenthal, Dan S. and Machover, Moshé (2002) Models and reality: the curious case of the absent abstention. Homo Oeconomicus, 19 (3). pp. 297-310. ISSN 0943-0180

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We discuss two inter-related puzzling features of the literature on a priori voting power. First, the mathematical model used in virtually all this literature does not recognize abstention as an option distinct from both a 'yes' and a 'no' vote. Second, real-life decision rules of voting bodies---in particular the US legislature and the UN Security Council---are misrepresented as though they did not allow abstention as a tertium quid. We suggest that these misrepresentations may be examples of what philosophers of science call 'theory-laden observation'.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2002 Accedo Verlag
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2009 11:44

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