When we think of democracy, we typically think of voting; and when we think of voting, we ordinarily have elections and campaigns in minds. In this intuitive sense, voting is a matter of casting a ballot. After Election Day, votes are counted, and, typically, the majority rules. But things really aren’t so simple. For one thing, citizens bring differing levels of information and ignorance into the voting booth. What’s more, famous mathematical analyses cast doubt on the very idea of a majority will. Given this, what are we to make of democracy?
In Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom (Oxford University Press, 2020), Ilya Somin defends the idea that foot voting is an essential element of political freedom and democratic governance. Foot voting is the capacity of individuals to move to the jurisdiction or nation whose government most suits their preferences, or to select their favoured providers of various services.
Robert Talisse is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.