Oliver Dowlen

Oliver Dowlen is a scholar specialising in the random selection of citizens for public office. After working as a teacher and practitioner in the arts, he took a part time MPhil in Politics in 1999 at the University of Hertfordshire and then a full-time DPhil at New College, Oxford, graduating in 2007. The subject for his MPhil was Marx’s Concept of Alienation. For his doctorate, however, he investigated the political value of selecting citizens for public office by lottery. His doctoral thesis was joint winner of the Sir Ernest Barker prize for best thesis in political theory for 2006-7; it has since been published (The Political Potential of Sortition, Imprint Academic 2008). In recent years he has been joint organiser of the CEVIPOF seminar series on the political use of sortition funded by Sciences Po, Paris. In October 2012 he took up an ISRF Early Career Fellowship at Queen Mary College, London to study the benefits of using randomly-selected citizens in transitions to democracy. In early 2015 he affiliated with Sciences Po in Paris as a Chercheur Associé.

Blog posts

Guest blog: The hidden potential of random recruitment

May 15, 2015

For the greater part of the fifteenth century the Medici family held absolute power in Florence. In 1465-6, however, a pro-republican grouping began to voice their opposition to what was essentially a family-based repressive dictatorship. This grouping had two main demands: the first was for freedom of political expression; the second was for the restoration…

Read moreAdd a comment