Politics is associated with a high degree of uncertainty. Which measures are best suited to contain the spread of the corona virus? What could be done to prevent climate change? How can we reduce unemployment? Neither citizens nor politicians can foresee all the consequences of political decisions, particularly not the long-term consequences. This poses enormous challenges for democratic representation, which rests on the premise that citizens are able to hold politicians accountable for their actions.

Based on the concept of the “risk society” as described by Ulrich Beck and prospect theory by Kahneman and Tversky, the seminar explores how represented and representatives in democratic systems deal with uncertainty and risk. How do they perceive different risks? Under which circumstances are they risk-averse or risk-seeking? Finally, what does this mean for the political behavior of individuals and for the political system as a whole?