Political Behavior

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 49–69 | Cite as

Deliberation, Democratic Decision-Making and Internal Political Efficacy

  • Michael E. MorrellEmail author


Empirical research into the possible positive consequences of deliberation increasingly reveals that there is a complex relationship between deliberation and its effects on citizens. In this experimental study I examine the relationship between internal political efficacy and one type of deliberation: deliberative decision-making. I also test whether different structures of decision-making mediate between deliberation and internal political efficacy. The data suggest that deliberative decision-making had no direct effect on a global measure of internal political efficacy. Participants in face-to-face deliberative decision-making, though, had higher scores on a situation-specific measure of internal political efficacy than participants who only voted. The structures of decision-making had no effect on either measure of internal political efficacy. These results support claims that deliberation will not necessarily lead to direct, positive effects on citizens’ internal political efficacy, but they also highlight the likelihood that face-to-face deliberation can lead citizens to feel more competent in their deliberative abilities.


deliberation deliberative democracy internal political efficacy situation-specific political efficacy democratic theory 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Acock, Alan C., Clarke, Harold D. 1990Alternative measures of political efficacy: models and meansQuality and Quantity2487105Google Scholar
  2. Acock, Alan C., Clarke, Harold D., Stewart, Marianne C. 1985A new model for old measures: a covariance structure analysis of political efficacyJournal of Politics4710611084Google Scholar
  3. Balch, George I. 1974Multiple indicators in survey research: the concept of ‘sense of political efficacy’Political Methodology1143Google Scholar
  4. Albert, Bandura 1986The explanatory and predictive scope of self-efficacy theory.Journal of Social and Clinical Psyhology4359373Google Scholar
  5. Albert, Bandura 1995Exercise of personal and collective efficacy in changing societiesBandura, Albert eds. Self-efficacy in Changing SocietiesCambridge University PressCambridgeGoogle Scholar
  6. Barber, Benjamin R. 1984Strong DemocracyUniversity of California PressBerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  7. Berry, Jeffrey M., Portney, Kent E., Thomson, Ken 1993The Rebirth of Urban Democracy.The Brookings InstituteWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  8. Bowler, Shaun, Donovan, Todd 2002Democracy, institutions and attitudes about citizen influence on government.British Journal of Political Science32371390Google Scholar
  9. Campbell, Angus, Gurin, Gerald, Miller, Warren E. 1954The Voter Decides.Row, PetersonEvanston, ILGoogle Scholar
  10. Clark, Harold D., Acock, Alan C. 1989National elections and political attitudes: the case of political efficacyBritish Journal of Political Science1955162Google Scholar
  11. Craig, Stephen C., Niemi, Richard G., Sliver, Glenn E. 1990Political efficacy and trust: a report on the NES pilot study itemsPolitical Behavior12289314Google Scholar
  12. Craig, Stephen C., Maggiotto, Michael A. 1982Measuring political efficacyPolitical Methodology885109Google Scholar
  13. Crittenden, Jack 1992Beyond IndividualismOxford University PressNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Delli Carpini, Michael X., Fary Lomax, Cook, Jacobs, Lawrence R. 2004Public deliberation, discursive participation, and citizen engagement: a review of the empirical literatureAnnual Review of Political Science7315344Google Scholar
  15. Doble, John, Higgins, Damon, Begasse, Jennifer, Fisher, Celeste 1996The Public’s Capacity for Deliberation: What Can We Learn From NIF?.John Doble Research AssociatesEnglewood Cliffs, NJGoogle Scholar
  16. Finkel, Steven E. 1985Reciprocal effects of participation and political efficacy: a panel analysisAmerican Journal of Political Science29891913Google Scholar
  17. Finkel, Steven E. 1987The effects of participation on political efficacy and political support: evidence from a West German panelThe Journal of Politics4944164Google Scholar
  18. Fishkin, James 1995The Voice of the PeopleYale University PressNew HavenGoogle Scholar
  19. Gastil, John 2000aBy Popular DemandUniversity of California PressBerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  20. Gastil, John 2000bIs face-to-face citizen deliberation a luxury or a necessity?Political Communication17357361Google Scholar
  21. Gastil, John 2004Adult civic education through the national issues forums: developing democratic habits and dispositions through public deliberation.Adult Education Quarterly54308328Google Scholar
  22. Gastil, John, Dillard, James P. 1999The aims, methods, and effects of deliberative civic education through the national issues forumsCommunication Education48179192Google Scholar
  23. Goodin, Robert E. 2004Reflective DemocracyCambridge University PressCambridgeGoogle Scholar
  24. Goodin, Robert E., Niemeyer, Simon J. 2003When does deliberation begininternal reflection versus public discussion in deliberative democracy. Political Studies51627649Google Scholar
  25. Greenberg, Edward S. 1986Workplace Democracy: The Political Effects of Participation.Cornell University PressIthaca, NYGoogle Scholar
  26. Greenberg, Edward S., Grunberg, Leon, Daniel, Kelley 1996Industrial work and political participation: beyond ‘simple spillover’.Political Research Quarterly49305330Google Scholar
  27. Hibbing, John R., Theiss-Morse, Elizabeth 2002Stealth DemocracyCambridge University PressCambridgeGoogle Scholar
  28. Maddux, James E. 1995Self-efficacy theory: an introductionMaddux, James E. eds. Self-Efficacy, Adaptation, and AdjustmentPlenum PressNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. Maddux, James E., Stanley, Melinda A. 1986Self-efficacy theory in contemporary psychology: an overviewJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology4249255Google Scholar
  30. Mansbridge, Jane. 1980Beyond Adversary DemocracyUniversity of Chicago PressChicagoGoogle Scholar
  31. Mattei, Franco, Niemi, Richard G. 2005Political efficacyBest, SamRadcliffe, Benjamin eds. Polling America: An Encyclopedia of Public OpinionGreenwood PressWestport, CTGoogle Scholar
  32. McCombs, Maxwell, Reynolds, Amy 1999The Poll With a Human Face.Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesMahwah, NJGoogle Scholar
  33. Mill, John Stuart 1991Considerations on representative governmentGray, John eds. On Liberty and Other EssaysOxford University PressOxfordGoogle Scholar
  34. Morrell, Michael E. 1999Citizens’ evaluations of participatory democratic procedures: normative theory meets empirical sciencePolitical Research Quarterly52293322Google Scholar
  35. Morrell, Michael E. 2003Survey and experimental evidence for a reliable and valid measure of internal political efficacyPublic Opinion Quarterly67589602Google Scholar
  36. Niemi, Richard G., Craig, Stephen C., Franco, Mattei 1991Measuring internal political efficacy in the 1988 National Election Study.American Political Science Review8514071413Google Scholar
  37. Pateman, Carol 1970Participation and Democratic TheoryCambridge University PressNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  38. Patterson, Samuel C., Ripley, Randall B., Quinlan, Stephen V. 1992Citizens’ orientations toward legislatures: congress and the state legislatureThe Western Political Quarterly45315338Google Scholar
  39. Rosenstone, Steven J., Hansen, John Mark J. 1993Mobilization, Participation, and Democracy in AmericaMacmillan Publishing CompanyNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  40. Rudolph, Thomas J., Gangl, Amy, Dan, Stevens 2000The effects of efficacy and emotions on campaign involvement.Journal of Politics6211891197Google Scholar
  41. Shi, Tianjian 1999Voting and nonvoting in China: voting behavior in plebiscitary and limited-choice elections.Journal of Politics6111151139Google Scholar
  42. Smith, Tom W. 1999The delegates’ experienceMcCombs, MaxwellReynolds, Amy eds. The Poll With a Human FaceLawrence Erlbaum AssociatesMahwah, NJ3958Google Scholar
  43. Stenner-Day, Karen, Fischle, Mark 1992The effects of political participation on political efficacy: a simultaneous equations model.Australian Journal of Political Science27282305Google Scholar
  44. Timpone, Richard J. 1998Structure, behavior, and voter turnout in the United StatesAmerican Political Science Review92145158Google Scholar
  45. Walsh, Katherine C. (2003). The democratic potential of civic dialogue on race. Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association.Google Scholar
  46. Wollman, Neil, Strouder, Rolan 1991Believed efficacy and political activity: a test of the specificity hypothesis.Journal of Social Psychology131557566Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of ConnecticutUSA

Personalised recommendations