Who will not deliberate? Attrition in a multi-stage citizen deliberation experiment

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Karjalainen M, Rapeli L
Publisher: SPRINGER
Publication year: 2015
Journal: Quality and Quantity
Journal acronym: QUAL QUANT
Volume number: 49
Issue number: 1
Start page: 407
End page: 422
Number of pages: 16
ISSN: 0033-5177
eISSN: 1573-7845


This article examines the determinants of attrition in deliberative mini-publics. We approach attrition from a social psychological and a socioeconomic perspective and draw several hypotheses. We find that age and life situation are the primary predictors of attrition, but also having a negative opinion about immigration and reluctance to expose oneself to conflicting opinions play an important role. We use data from a citizen deliberation experiment organized in Finland in 2012. The data allows us to analyze attrition in several stages of recruitment, resulting in 207 people from an initial population of 12,000 participating in a deliberation experiment. The topic of the discussions was immigration, and the experiment was designed to test the theoretical assumptions of enclave deliberation. Our results feed the ongoing discussion about equality and representation in deliberative mini-publics and highlight the importance of social psychological variables in explaining attrition.


Attrition, Deliberative democracy, Enclaves, Experimental research, Nonresponse, Survey methodology

Last updated on 2020-07-08 at 02:53