Meeting Great Expectations Through Democratic Innovations? Studying the Effect of Citizen Involvement in Political Decision-making Processes on the Perceived Democratic Legitimacy of Political Systems.
As a result of rising expectations, democratic political systems are confronted with a citizenry that fiercely questions the democratic legitimacy of their political system. Widespread distrust in political actors and institutions and the increasing popularity of populist and anti-establishment candidates and parties are just a few of the indications of this societal challenge. Interestingly, this discontent is by no means paralleled by eroding support for democratic principles as this support is stronger than ever before. Therefore, this discontent has frequently been interpreted as a demand for democratic innovations that would facilitate a better communication between citizens and policy-makers. In particular, the involvement of citizens in political decision-making processes is often proposed as a potential solution to meet citizens’ expectations and to address this democratic legitimacy deficit. In this talk I will focus on two of my recent studies that investigate the potential of citizen involvement in political decision-making processes (through direct and deliberative democratic instruments) to foster citizens’ political trust and losers’ consent with political decisions.
About Sofie Marien:
Sofie Marien is an Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam. She has a B.S. in Political Science and a P.h.D. in Social Sciences from the University of Leuven (Belgium). She was a visiting scholar at the Annenberg School in the Spring of 2016. She is president of the Belgian Political Science Association VPW. Her substantive research interests include political communication, deliberative democracy, political engagement and political trust with a regional focus on Europe. To investigate these topics, she draws on cross-national surveys, panel surveys and experimental methods. Her studies appeared in journals such as Political Research Quarterly and European Journal of Political Research.