Handbook on Approval Voting
I am honoredto write a prefaceto this remarkablybroadand comprehensivevolume on approval voting (AV). It has been almost 35 years since Peter C. Fishburn and I met in 1976 and began research on AV. Besides my 30-year collaboration with Fishburn, I have collaborated with several other scholars – including D. Marc Kilgour,SamuelMerrill,JackH.Nagel,M.RemziSanver,andWilliamS.Zwicker– on AV-related research. Over these years there has been a profusion of articles and books reporting on empirical and theoretical aspects of AV and their normative implications. This volume touches on all aspects of this research and will be a very helpful sourcebook to scholars who want to carry this research forward. In Brams and Fishburn (1983/2007, p. 172), Fishburn and I were unabashed in our support of AV: Approval voting strikes at the heart of how political debate is resolved. It offers a new approach to the realization of democratic principles by rede ning what constitutes a de- cratic choice. Indeed, the foundation on which representative government is built is periodic elections, and the central problem of elections today is how to translate voter preferences, with as little distortion as possible, into consensus choices in multicandidate races. We believe that approval voting is the best practical way for amalgamating these preferences, fairlyand impartially,toproduce awinnerand thereby amelioratethemulticandateproblem.
Surveys all major developments in Approval Voting since the publication of the seminal book by Brams/Fishburn (1983)Combination of theoretical and empirical resultsWritten by specialists of the various disciplines involved