The right kind of participation? The effect of a deliberative mini-public on the perceived legitimacy of public decision-making

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Deliberative mini-publics have been put forward as a form of citizen participation that is particularly well suited to improve the legitimacy of public decision-making. Using a survey experiment, we find that the perceived legitimacy of a process that includes a deliberative mini-public is higher than a process in which citizens are not able to participate at all, but no higher than a process that includes a participation method that relies on self-selection. Our findings imply that deliberative mini-publics may not be the right instrument to repair the loss of legitimacy that many democratic institutions are thought to suffer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Management Review
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019



  • deliberative mini-public
  • perceived legitimacy
  • survey experiment

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