The Republic of Venice lasted for over 1000 years (726-1797 A.D.). Three things about “Old Venezia” continue to fascinate me: (1) How common were duels in Venice? (2) Why did such a small city-state have so many chapels, churches, and other houses of worship? And (3) why did the Venetian Republic develop such a complicated and cumbersome multi-stage electoral system? We will explore all three of these features of Old Venezia (duels, religion, and voting rules) in future blog posts, but for now let’s focus on the third one. Among other things, Venice’s bygone voting system poses a difficult theoretical and practical puzzle: What is the optimal level of electoral complexity and randomness? Below is a brief survey of the literature:
- gated version). , “Approval voting and strategy analysis: A Venetian example” (1986) (
- Jay S. Coggins and C. Federico Perali, “64% Majority Rule in Ducal Venice: Voting for the Doge” (1998) (available here).
- Miranda Mowbray and Dieter Gollmann, “Electing the Doge of Venice: Analysis of a 13th Century Protocol” (2007) (available here).
- Dalibor Rohac, “Mechanism Design in the Venetian Republic” (2013) (available here).
- Toby Walsh and Lirong Xia, “Venetian Elections and Lot-based Voting Rules” (not dated) (available here).