170919 - What do Citizens Want from Democratic Governance when they cannot have it all? Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment in Eight Western European Metropolitan Areas

19 Septembre, 2017 - 12:30 - 14:30


 Séminaire général du CEE

Tuesday 19 septembre 2017, 12.30 - 2.30 pm, Sciences Po, Room Goguel, 56, rue des Saints-Pères (Entrance through the 27 rue Saint-Guillaume), 75007 Paris

The study of subjective democratic legitimacy from a citizens’ perspective has become an important strand of research in political science. Scholars have shown that not only theorists but also ordinary citizens value different elements of democracy. And when asked, citizens normally want more rather than less democracy. But what do citizens want from democratic governance when they cannot have it all at once? Which dimensions of democratic legitimacy are considered to be more important than others? Do citizens conceive of trade-offs between different elements of democratic governance arrangements? We approach these questions through data from a conjoint experiment conducted in eight metropolitan areas in Switzerland, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. By analyzing citizens’ preferences for metropolitan governance arrangements, which vary with respect to their input -throughput- and output-quality as well as their formal authority, we shed a light on the relative importance of different aspects of democratic governance. Our findings run counter to a central tenet of the theory of ‘stealth democracy’. While they indeed suggest that political actors and institutions can gain legitimacy primarily through the provision of “good output”, the demand for input and throughput does not seem to be conditioned by the quality of output as advocates of stealth democratic theory suggest. Democratic input and throughput remain important secondary features of democratic governance


Daniel Kübler, Professor of Democracy and Public Governance at the Department of Political Science of the University of Zurich
Daniel Kübler’s research interests are multilevel governance and democracy; urban politics and policy; public policy analysis and evaluation; representative bureaucracy; Swiss politics


Anja Durovic, Sciences Po, CEE
Nicolas Sauger, Sciences Po, CEE


Contact: segolene.mennesson@sciencespo.fr
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