May 1, 2019 Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
June 25, 2018 Lucy J Parry, Participedia Team
February 12, 2018 Paul Nollen
May 22, 2011 Paul Nollen

Demarchy, or lottocracy, involves randomly-selected decision-makers who are chosen from an inclusive group of citizens to form a government, and make policy decisions.

Problems and Purpose

Demarchy (or lottocracy) is a form of government in which the state is governed by randomly selected decision makers who have been selected by sortition (lot) from a broadly inclusive pool of eligible citizens. These groups, sometimes termed policy juries, citizens' juries, or consensus conferences, deliberately make decisions about public policies in much the same way that juries decide criminal cases.

Demarchy, in theory, could overcome some of the functional problems of conventional representative democracy, which is widely subject to manipulation by special interests and a division between professional policymakers (politicians and lobbyists) vs. a largely passive, uninvolved and often uninformed electorate. According to Australian philosopher John Burnheim, random selection of policymakers would make it easier for everyday citizens to meaningfully participate, and harder for special interests to corrupt the process. [1]

A related method is Civic Lottery.

Origins and Development

Participant Recruitment and Selection

How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

Analysis and Lessons Learned

See Also


Civic Lottery 



External Links

The Demarchy Manifesto for better public policy  

Demarchy: A Dubious Conception of Global Democracy 

Demarchy: A Democratic Alternative to Electoral Politics 

Demarchy: a flexible deliberative process for contemporary democracies   


Lead Image: Lottocracy