Activity 8: That decision-making game

1 hour


To help us to:

  • Understand the relationship between different decision-making regimes and freedom as self-determination
  • Understand how crime and violence impact our freedoms, and discuss solutions to it
  • Understand different decision-making regimes as power structures that can prioritise or silence certain views
  • Be exposed to how different societies have structured their decision-making systems

Task 1

“How do we solve the problem of crime?” The point of the game is for each group to arrive at a decision on how to deal with the problem of high crime, while operating within the rules of a given decision-making regime.

Participants will be broken up into 2 groups, playing 2 rounds of the game as different regimes.

Each group will deal with a specific decision-making regime.

Group members will then be given 20 minutes for each round to make a decision about how they want to deal with the problem of crime. To add complexity to the game, each participant will be given a character card which details their position within the regime (e.g. a political party member, citizen or matriarch). While most cards leave the participant open to argue for any solution to the problem they think will work best, some cards may indicate that the participant must take a specific stance on the issue – which they must then argue for and represent within the group. Character cards must not be revealed to other participants.

We will have 45 minutes for this task

Task 2

As a group, spend 15 mins in plenary reflecting on the following questions:

  1. How easy/difficult was it to arrive at a decision in the regimes you played through?
  2. Who held power/authority in each regime? Did this impact what decision was arrived at?
  3. To what extent was the decision your group arrived at reflective of the popular opinion of the whole group?
  4. How important to freedom is the ability for ordinary people to have a direct say in decision-making that impacts their lives?
  5. In what ways were the regimes you played through reflective of the kind of society you would want to live in?

We have 15 minutes for this task

Please refer to the reading pack for:

Masha Gessen. Barcelona’s Experiment with Radical Democracy. The New Yorker.

Leonardo Morlino (2004) ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ democracies: how to conduct research into the quality of democracy, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition

Last updated December 15, 2019 5:42 pm