The financial and economic crisis, of which we have heard so much discussion since 2007-8, is only one aspect of a whole series of underlying political trends which have been apparent for much longer: a crisis of (in)equality and of increased precarity of the workforce, a human rights crisis, a demographic crisis, an ecological crisis, a crisis in civil liberties, and above all a crisis in democracy.
This case is a randomized field experiment, which examines the differences in decision-making and legitimacy in town meeting versus plebiscitary (direct voting) methods of decision. The experimenter - Benjamin Olken - examined this question in the context of decisions about infrastructure investments in Indonesian villages.
In 2004, the large pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson relocated its large manufacturing and research plant located in North Brunswick, New Jersey. After the company left, the township wanted to obtain the desires of the public to answer a simple question: What should be done with the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) property? With the assistance of developers, architects, and other experts, multiple community workshops were implemented, with the intention of taking into account the public’s desire.