Democratic Forking: Choosing Sides with Social Choice

03/05/2021
by   Ben Abramowitz, et al.
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Any community in which membership is optional may eventually break apart, or fork. For example, forks may occur in political parties, business partnerships, social groups, cryptocurrencies, and federated governing bodies. Forking is typically the product of informal social processes or the organized action of an aggrieved minority, and it is not always amicable. Forks usually come at a cost, and can be seen as consequences of collective decisions that destabilize the community. Here, we provide a social choice setting in which agents can report preferences not only over a set of alternatives, but also over the possible forks that may occur in the face of disagreement. We study this social choice setting, concentrating on stability issues and concerns of strategic agent behavior.

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