How citizens evaluate participatory processes: a conjoint analysis

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This study examines how characteristics of participatory processes affect citizens’ evaluations of such processes and thereby establish what kind of participatory process citizens demand. The literature on democratic innovations has proposed different criteria for evaluating participatory innovations. What remains unclear, however, is how citizens evaluate these participatory mechanisms. This is here examined in a conjoint analysis embedded in a representative survey of the Finnish population (n = 1050). The conjoint analysis examines the impact of inclusiveness, popular control, considered judgment, transparency, efficiency, and transferability on citizens’ evaluations of participatory processes. Furthermore, it is examined whether the evaluations differ by the policy issues and process preferences of the respondents. The results show that people want transparent participatory processes with face-to-face interaction among participants and expert advice to deal with complicated issues. The participatory processes should also be advisory and should not include too many meetings. These effects appear to be uniform across policy issues and do not depend on the process preferences of citizens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239–253
JournalEuropean Political Science Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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