Ideals and actions: Do Citizens’ Patterns of Political Participation Correspond to their Conceptions of Democracy?

A1 Journal article (refereed)


Internal Authors/Editors


Publication Details

List of Authors: Åsa von Schoultz, Henrik Serup Christensen
Publication year: 2016
Journal: Government and Opposition
Volume number: 51
Issue number: 2
Start page: 234
End page: 260


Abstract

The interest in procedures for political decision-making has grown tremendously during recent decades. Given the intense scholarly debate and the implementation of greater opportunities for citizen participation in many democracies, there has been surprisingly little interest in citizens’ conceptions of democracy understood as their preferences concerning the processes by which the political system works. Some recent attempts do, however, suggest that it is important to expand the study of public opinion from policy output to decision-making processes, and that there are coherent patterns in citizens’ expectations of the way in which political decisions come about. What is not clear, though, is whether citizens’ different conceptions of democracy have repercussions for how they engage in politics. Using the Finnish National Election Study of 2011 (Borg and Grönlund
2011), this article explores the relationship between citizens’ conceptions of democracy and patterns of political participation. Results demonstrate a distinct association between citizens’ ideals and the actions they take.


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