How should votes be distributed in the EU Council of Ministers? When should simple majority be preferred to 2/3-Majority or unanimity? Application of the egalitarian principle of "One person one vote" or the utilitarian principle help to answer the questions. The answer is however more complex when the members of the committee (as it is the case in the EU Council) represent groups of very different sizes. My first co-author on these questions was the late Mika Widgrén but I have mainly worked with Federico Valenciano (with whom I wrote " Voting and Collective Decision-Making: Bargaining and Power" published at Cambridge University Press). Other co-authors on these issues are Josune Albizuri, Alaitz Artabe, Ricardo Martinez, Vincent Merlin.
In polls many citizens express some dissatisfaction with politicians. Usual ways to voice this dissatisfaction in elections are absenteeism, spoiled or blank vote, or voting for a political newcomer or a fringe candidate. No legitimate and explicit negative option is generally offered to electors. Why our democracies do not allow expressing disagreement in an explicit way in elections? More generally I am interested participation in elections or alternative voting procedures. I have worked on these questions with Jose Carlos Alcantud, Constanza Fosco, Nora Ibarzabal, Ricardo Martinez, Esther Mata-Perez, Giovanni Ponti and Angel Sanchez.
An IKERBASQUE biologist colleague at Neiker, Inma Estevez, realised some experiments with chickens (domestic fowls) in an experimental farm. The two most salient results are that marked birds suffer more aggression and have less body mass than their unmarked pen mates. Elena Iñarra and I model this experiment by a variation of the Hawk-Dove Game. We find that artificial distinction generates real discrimination. We have also considered a similar model where individuals know who they are but do not know how they are perceived (a more realistic assumption if we seek to consider human behaviour). My other co-authors on these questions are Andre Barreira da Silva Rocha, Ramon Escobedo and Peio Zuazo-Garin.
The use and knowledge of minority languages in the European Union vary much according to the countries. The relation between the use and the knowledge of a minority language is not linear. How can we explain the use of a minority language when it is in contact with a majority language? What is the dynamics of the minority language use? My co-authors on this question are Noemi Navarro and Ramon Escobedo.