Public Choice

, Volume 134, Issue 1–2, pp 87–95

Neither Hayek nor Habermas

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11127-007-9202-9

Cite this article as:
Sunstein, C.R. Public Choice (2008) 134: 87. doi:10.1007/s11127-007-9202-9

Abstract

The rise of the blogosphere raises important questions about the elicitation and aggregation of information, and about democracy itself. Do blogs allow people to check information and correct errors? Can we understand the blogosphere as operating as a kind of marketplace for information along Hayekian terms? Or is it a vast public meeting of the kind that Jurgen Habermas describes? In this article, I argue that the blogosphere cannot be understood as a Hayekian means for gathering dispersed knowledge because it lacks any equivalent of the price system. I also argue that forces of polarization characterize the blogosphere as they do other social interactions, making it an unlikely venue for Habermasian deliberation, and perhaps leading to the creation of information cocoons. I conclude by briefly canvassing partial responses to the problem of polarization.

Keywords

Hayek Blogs Information aggregation Condorcet Jury Theorem 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, BV 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Chicago Law SchoolChicagoUSA

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