Does Deliberation Breed an Appetite for Discursive Participation? Assessing the Impact of First-Hand Experience

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Various deliberative practices have been argued to constitute viable supplements to traditional representative decision making. At the same time, doubts have been raised as to whether ordinary citizens want to be involved in such demanding forms of political participation. This question has been difficult to resolve since few citizens have had the chance to take part in genuine deliberative practices. For this reason, we examine how participation in a deliberative mini-public affected attitudes towards discursive participation as a supplement to representative decision making. Moreover, we investigate how group composition and individual-level factors affect these developments. Our data come from an experimental deliberative forum on the issue of immigration arranged in Finland in 2012. The results suggest that the participants grew more positive towards the use of deliberative practices regardless of individual socio-demographic resources, whereas the effects of prior political engagement depend on the composition of the group the participants were assigned to.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)64–83
JournalPolitical Studies
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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