Using experiments to study democratic innovations

A3 Book section, Chapters in research books

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Kimmo Grönlund, Kaisa Herne
Editors: Stephen Elstub, Oliver Escobar
Place: Cheltenham
Publication year: 2019
Publisher: Edward Elgar
Book title: Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance
Start page: 515
End page: 526
ISBN: 9781786433855
eISBN: 9781786433862


The chapter provides an overview of the use of experiments in the study of democratic innovations. We focus on a specific case of democratic innovations, mini-publics, because most experiments study that institutional form. We describe first what are the typical characteristics of an experiment, and provide a classification of experiment types. After that we provide examples of mini-public experiments and go through one of them in more detail, to give the reader an idea of how mini-public experiments are conducted in practice. The detailed description concerns a mini-public experiment about nuclear power that examines the influence of the decision making method on certain output variables. After the examples, we elaborate on the challenges of experimental research paying attention to issues related to internal and external validity. We finish the chapter by providing suggestions about how to handle challenges related to experiments.


Deliberation, experiment


Last updated on 2020-31-05 at 04:48