Veenstra Peace Lecture to focus on elections and world government

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A Rutgers University professor will deliver the annual Winnie Veenstra Peace Lecture in early April at Western Michigan University.

Dr. Alexander Guerrero, assistant professor of philosophy, will speak at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 6, in 213 Bernhard Center. The title of his presentation, which is free and open to the public, is "Again Toward Perpetual Peace: Elections, World Government and Lottocracy."

Lottocracy and world government

Guerrero will argue that the United States national electoral dynamics, and electoral representative systems of government more generally, will reliably lead to unnecessary militarization. The solution is twofold: lottocracy and, eventually, world government. Relying on Iris Marion Young and John Rawls, Guerrero will argue that a true global democracy is the only way to create lasting peace. However, we should conceive of global democracy as representative democracy with representatives selected by lottery. He will develop and discuss such a system, highlight potential advantages and address objections.


Guerrero is a philosopher specializing in political, legal and moral philosophy and topics in epistemology that relate to those three areas. He attended Harvard College and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy. He completed his doctoral degree in philosophy from New York University and his juris doctor from New York University School of Law. While a law student, he served as editor-in-chief of the New York University Law Review. Guerrero joined the faculty of the Rutgers University Department of Philosophy in 2016, having previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania. He has created two on-demand, free, online courses through the Coursera platform: Revolutionary Ideas: Utility, Justice, Equality, Freedom; and Revolutionary Ideas: Borders, Elections, Constitutions, Prisons. His work has appeared in a number of leading philosophical and legal journals, including Philosophy and Public Affairs, Philosophical Studies, Ethics, Legal Theory, Public Affairs Quarterly, Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Criminal Law and Philosophy and Jurisprudence. He is currently working on a book-length project, "The Lottocracy," in which he introduces the "lottocratic" system of government and argues that we should use lotteries to choose our political officials, rather than elections.

Veenstra peace lecture

Guerrero's presentation is part of the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society's spring 2017 lecture series and is funded by the center's Winnie Veenstra Endowment for Lectures on Peace. It is named in honor of Veenstra, a WMU alumna who died more than 25 years ago and left a sum of money to WMU to support peace efforts through lectures or forums open to the University and community. The permanent endowment has allowed the center to continue holding the peace lecture every year.

The event is cosponsored by the Department of Philosophy, Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Department of Political Science, Kalamazoo Peace Center, Pax Christi Kalamazoo, St. Thomas More Social Justice, St. Joseph Social Justice and Kalamazoo Non-Violent Opponents of War.

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