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Models and Reality: The Curious Case of the Absent Abstention

  • Dan S. Felsenthal
  • Moshé Machover
Chapter

Abstract

We discuss two inter-related puzzling features of the literature on a priori voting power. First, the mathematical model used in virtually all this literature does not recognize abstention as an option distinct from both a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ vote. Second, real-life decision rules of voting bodies — in particular the US legislature and the UN Security Council — are misrepresented as though they did not allow abstention as a tertium quid. We suggest that these misrepresentations may be examples of what philosophers of science call ‘theory-laden observation’.

Keywords

Security Council Power Index Coalition Formation Vote Behaviour Vote Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan S. Felsenthal
    • 1
  • Moshé Machover
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyKing’s College, StrandLondonUK

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