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Democratic Innovations: Reinforcing or changing perceptions of trust?
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7291-2875
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6381-8692
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5485-8577
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 0190-0692, E-ISSN 1532-4265, Vol. 40, no 7, p. 575-587Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Declining trust in representative institutions is considered one of the most significant political problems of our time. It is often suggested that democratic innovations—or mechanisms which aim to increase and deepen citizen participation in the political decision-making process—can help reverse this trend. However, empirical research about actual effects of participation on trust is scarce, and weakened by causality problems. With survey data representing 1,470 participants in a landmark Swedish e-petition system, the article shows that both generalized attitudes and process evaluations matter in how trust is affected by democratic innovations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017. Vol. 40, no 7, p. 575-587
Keywords [en]
Citizen participation; democratic innovations; e-petitions; public trust
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-48957DOI: 10.1080/01900692.2016.1162801ISI: 000415699700004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84978523941OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-48957DiVA, id: diva2:909107
Projects
Building pervasive participation
Funder
Swedish Research Council FormasAvailable from: 2016-03-04 Created: 2016-03-04 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Democratic innovations in political systems: towards a systemic approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Democratic innovations in political systems: towards a systemic approach
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There are many indicators that the representative democratic system is currently facing serious legitimacy challenges. Two central indicators of these challenges are changing patterns of political participation and a decline in system support. Against this backdrop, a growing number of governments claim that democratic innovations (DIs) could reconnect institutions with citizens. This thesis focuses on online DIs implemented in real political contexts, and the overarching aim of the thesis is to contribute to the emergent empirical scholarship on how DIs can influence political systems. In the last two decades, most empirical studies in the field have analysed DIs at the micro level.

This thesis takes a different stance by posing system-related research questions to the implementation of DIs and, by doing so, showing how DIs are interrelated with, rather than isolated from, the political system and that DIs can influence political systems. The thesis consists of one literature review and three empirical case studies, applying a multiple methodological approach. Its novelty lies in three main empirical findings that contribute to the development of the field. First, it shows that participation in DIs can influence citizens’ perceived trust towards local political institutions. In addition, the results suggest that predispositions and prior engagement mediate the direction of change in trust amongst citizens. Secondly, the results show that DIs can perform different political functions, such as facilitating spaces for citizens to provide original ideas and deliberation, while also having an agenda-setting function. Thirdly, the result suggest that long-term institutional change is complex and that the implementation of DIs can create a situation in which civil servants and politicians perceive their organisation to be in some ‘state of flux’, as they are torn between two competing institutional logics. In conclusion, this thesis should be understood as a piece in a broader movement that works towards a systemic approach to the study of DIs, and that by showing these empirical findings, the thesis contributes to deepening our understanding of what influences and functions DIs can have in political systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2018. p. 126
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 42
Keywords
Democratic innovations, online political participation, political institutions, political trust, political systems
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-68711 (URN)978-91-7529-261-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-10-26, Örebro universitet, Prismahuset, Hörsal P1, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-09-04 Created: 2018-09-04 Last updated: 2018-11-19Bibliographically approved

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Åström, JoachimJonsson, MagnusKarlsson, Martin

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