Troubles with Voters … and those who try to fix them

Thursday, 14. October 2010 | 8:30 Uhr


Arthur Lupia


University of Michigan 


Professor Arthur Lupia, University of Michigan, disagreed with the assumption according to which citizens know too little about politics these days. It is widely believed that citizens who cannot give correct answers to political questions make the wrong decisions. But for Lupia, this is the erroneous approach: “People can only make the right decisions if they have all the necessary information.” It often occurs that experts deliver incomplete information and this is wrong. People denouncing this type of “ignorance” are recommended to focus more on the citizens and less on themselves. For Lupia, the biggest problem is that many experts are convinced that they are right. Only if the “fixers” know the real needs of the voters, information can really reach them, he stated. In fact, the voters decide themselves what is relevant to them and act accordingly. When spreading information, local references have to be established. This is how voters can become aware of the benefits for themselves and their environment.

Arthur Lupia

1986 B.A., Economics, University of Rochester
1988 M.S., Social Science, California Institute of Technology
1991 Ph.D., Social Science, California Institute of Technology

From 1990 to 2001 he was first Assistant, than Associate and finally Professor of Political Science, UC San Diego.

From 2001 to 2006 he was Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan.
Since 2001 Research Professor, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
Since 2006 Hal R.Varian Colligate Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan.

Arthur Lupia conducts research on topics relevant to politics and policy including voting, elections, persuasion, opinion change, civic education, coalition governance, legislative-bureaucratic relationships and decision-making under uncertainity.

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