When Freedom Is Not an Endless Meeting: A New Look at Efficiency in Consensus-Based Decision Making

  title={When Freedom Is Not an Endless Meeting: A New Look at Efficiency in Consensus-Based Decision Making},
  author={Darcy K. Leach},
  journal={The Sociological Quarterly},
  pages={36 - 70}
  • Darcy K. Leach
  • Published 1 February 2016
  • Political Science
  • The Sociological Quarterly
It is axiomatic among scholars of participatory democracy that consensus-based decision making is inefficient, yet no study has systematically assessed that claim. This article examines the efficiency of consensus decision making in 12 social movement groups from the German autonomous and nonviolence movements. Data were analyzed from 62 semistructured interviews regarding how long it took each group to make a typical decision and what types of decisions were the easiest and most difficult to… 
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