Advertisement

Does Group Deliberation Mobilize? The Effect of Public Deliberation on Willingness to Participate in Politics

  • C. Daniel MyersEmail author
  • Hunter G. Gordon
  • Hyungjin Myra Kim
  • Zachary Rowe
  • Susan Dorr Goold
Original Paper

Abstract

Proponents of public deliberation suggest that engaging in deliberation increases deliberators’ subsequent participation in other forms of politics. We evaluate this “deliberative participation hypothesis” using data drawn from a deliberative field experiment in which members of medically underserved communities in Michigan deliberated in small groups about the design of that state’s Medicaid program. Participants were randomly assigned to deliberate about the program in a group or to think about the decision individually, and then completed a post-survey that included measures of willingness to engage in a variety of political acts. We measured willingness to engage in common forms of political participation, as well as willingness to participate in particularistic resistance to adverse decisions by insurance bureaucracies. Contrary to the claims of much of the existing literature, we find no impact of deliberation on willingness to engage in political participation. These results suggest that the ability of public deliberation to increase broader political engagement may be limited or may only occur in particularly intensive, directly empowered forms of public deliberation.

Keywords

Political participation Turnout Deliberation Medicaid Health policy Particularistic resistance 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (1-R21-HS-023566-01). Dr. Goold is supported, in part, by a CTSA grant from the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (Contract #UL1TR000433). The authors thank Cengiz Salmon, Lisa Szymecko, Edith Kieffer, A. Mark Fendrick, Karen Calhoun, Lynnette LaHahnn, Caro Ledon, Marion Danis, and Eric Campbell for assistance with the Medicaid-CHAT project. We also thank the participants in the Medicaid-CHAT sessions for their time and insights, and the steering committee for the Medicaid-CHAT project. Michael Neblo, William Minozzi, and three anonymous reviewers provided helpful feedback on drafts of this paper. All errors are, of, course, our own. Dr. Goold and her institutions could benefit from future paid licenses (royalties) for the CHAT tool used in this study. Replication data and code can be found at  https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/YXGVBT

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This research was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Michigan. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

11109_2018_9507_MOESM1_ESM.docx (54 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 53 kb)

References

  1. Achen, C. H., & Blais, A. (2015). Intention to vote, reported vote, and validated vote. In J. A. Elkink & D. M. Farrell (Eds.), The act of voting: Identities, institutions and locale. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Ackerman, B. A., & Fishkin, J. S. (2004). Deliberation day. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Burkhalter, S., Gastil, J., & Kelshaw, T. (2002). A conceptual definition and theoretical model of public deliberation in small face-to-face groups. Communication Theory, 12(4), 398–422.Google Scholar
  4. Carman, K. L., Heeringa, J. W., Heil, S. K. R., et al. (2013). Public deliberation to elicit input on health topics: Findings from a literature review. AHRQ Publication No. 13-EHC070-EF. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.Google Scholar
  5. Caughey, D., Dafoe, A., & Seawright, J. (2017). Nonparametric combination (NPC): A framework for testing elaborate theories. The Journal of Politics, 79(2), 688–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Christensen, H. S., Himmelroos, S., & Grönlund, K. (2016). Does deliberation breed an appetite for discursive participation? Assessing the impact of first-hand experience. Political Studies, 61(1_suppl), 64–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. de Tocqueville, A. (2000/1840). Democracy in America: The complete and unabridged volumes I and II. New York: Bantam Classics.Google Scholar
  8. Fisher, R. (1932). Statistical methods for research workers (4th ed.). London: Oliver & Boyd.Google Scholar
  9. Fishkin, J. (2009). When the people speak: Deliberative democracy and public consultation. Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  10. Gastil, J. (2000). By popular demand: Revitalizing representative democracy through deliberative elections (Illustrated ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  11. Gastil, J. (2018). The lessons and limitations of experiments in democratic deliberation. Annual Review of Law and Social Science.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-110316-113639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gastil, J., Burkhalter, S., & Black, L. W. (2007). Do juries deliberate? A study of deliberation, individual difference, and group member satisfaction at a municipal courthouse. Small Group Research, 38(3), 337–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gastil, J., Deess, E. P., & Weiser, P. (2002). Civic awakening in the jury room: A test of the connection between jury deliberation and political participation. Journal of Politics, 64(2), 585–595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gastil, J., Deess, E. P., Weiser, P., & Meade, J. (2008). Jury service and electoral participation: A test of the participation hypothesis. The Journal of Politics, 70(2), 351–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gastil, J., Deess, E. P., Weiser, P. J., & Simmons, C. (2010). The jury and democracy: How jury deliberation promotes civic engagement and political participation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Goodin, R. E. (2000). Democratic Deliberation Within. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 29(1), 81–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goodin, R. E. (2003). Democratic deliberation within. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 29(1), 81–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Goodin, R. E., & Niemeyer, S. J. (2003). When does deliberation begin? Internal reflection versus public discussion in deliberative democracy. Political Studies, 51(4), 627–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Goold, S. D., et al. (2004). Will insured citizens give up benefit coverage to include the uninsured? Journal of General Internal Medicine, 19(8), 868–874.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Goold, S. D., et al. (2005). Choosing healthplans all together: A deliberative exercise for allocating limited health care resources. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 30(4), 563–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Grönlund, K., Bachtiger, A., & Setala, M. (Eds.). (2015). Deliberative mini-publics: Involving citizens in the democratic process. Colchester: ECPR Press.Google Scholar
  22. Grönlund, K., Setälä, M., & Herne, K. (2010). Deliberation and civic virtue: Lessons from a citizen deliberation experiment. European Political Science Review, 2(1), 95–117.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S1755773909990245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Haselswerdt, J. (2017). Expanding medicaid, expanding the electorate: The affordable care act’s short-term impact on political participation. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 42(4), 667–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Huddy, L., Mason, L., & Aarøe, L. (2015). Expressive partisanship: campaign involvement, political emotion, and partisan identity. American Political Science Review, 109(01), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jacobs, L. R., Cook, F. L., & Carpini, M. X. D. (2009). Talking together: Public deliberation and political participation in America. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jacquet, V. (2017). Explaining non-participation in deliberative mini-publics. European Journal of Political Research, 56(3), 640–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jones, B., Jarvis, P., Lewis, J. A., & Ebbutt, A. F. (1996). Trials to assess equivalence: The importance of rigorous methods. BMJ, 313(7048), 36–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Karpowitz, C. F., Raphael, C., & Hammond, A. S. (2009). Deliberative democracy and inequality: Two cheers for enclave deliberation among the disempowered. Politics & Society, 37(4), 576–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Klofstad, C. A., Sokhey, A. E., & McClurg, S. D. (2013). Disagreeing about disagreement: How conflict in social networks affects political behavior. American Journal of Political Science, 57(1), 120–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Knobloch, K. R., & Gastil, J. (2015). Civic (Re)socialisation: The educative effects of deliberative participation. Politics, 35(2), 183–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Knobloch, K. R., Gastil, J., Reedy, J., & Walsh, K. C. (2013). Did they deliberate? Applying an evaluative model of democratic deliberation to the Oregon citizens initiative review. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 41(2), 105–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lazer, D. M., et al. (2015). Expanding the conversation: Multiplier effects from a deliberative field experiment. Political Communication, 32(4), 552–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Loyacano, M. E. (Ed.). (1992). National Issues Forums Literacy Program: Linking literacy and citizenship, 1988–1991. Dayton: Kettering Foundation.Google Scholar
  34. Luskin, R. C., & Fishkin, J. (2002). Deliberation and better citizens. Unpublished paper. Center for Deliberative DemocracyGoogle Scholar
  35. MacKenzie, M. K., & Warren, M. E. (2012). Two trust-based uses of minipublics in democratic systems. In J. Parkinson & J. Mansbridge (Eds.), Deliberative systems: deliberative democracy at the large scale, theories of institutional design (pp. 95–124). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mansbridge, J. (1999). On the idea that participation makes better citizens. In S. L. Elkin & K. E. Soltan (Eds.), Citizen competence and democratic institutions (pp. 291–325). University Park: Penn State University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Mason, L. (2018). Uncivil agreement: how politics became our identity. Chicago, Illinois, London: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Melville, K., Willingham, T. L., & Dedrick, J. R. (2005). National issues forums: A network of communities promoting public deliberation. In J. Gastil & P. Levine (Eds.), The deliberative democracy handbook: Strategies for effective civic engagement in the twenty-first century (pp. 37–58). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  39. Michener, J. (2018). Fragmented democracy: Medicaid, federalism, and unequal politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Michener, J. D. (2017). People, places, power: Medicaid concentration and local political participation. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 42(5), 865–900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mill, J. S. (1991/1861). “On Liberty” and other writings. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Minozzi, W. et al. (2017). Athletic democracy: Robust deliberation and participation. Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  43. Morrell, M. E. (2005). Deliberation, democratic decision-making and internal political efficacy. Political Behavior, 27(1), 49–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Myers, C. D., Kieffer, E. C., Fendrick, A. M., Kim, H. M., Salman, C., Szymecko, L., et al. (2018). How would low-income communities prioritize Medicaid spending? Paper presented at the 2018 Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  45. Myers, C. D., & Mendelberg, T. (2013). Political deliberation. In L. Huddy, D. O. Sears, & J. S. Levy (Eds.), Oxford handbook of political psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Neblo, M. A., Esterling, K. M., & Lazer, D. M. J. (2018). Politics with the people by Michael A. Neblo. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pateman, C. (1970). Participation and democratic theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pattie, C. J., & Johnston, R. J. (2009). Conversation, disagreement and political participation. Political Behavior, 31(2), 261–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rainey, C. (2014). Arguing for a negligible effect. American Journal of Political Science, 58(4), 1083–1091.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rosenstone, S. J., & Hansen, J. M. (1993). Mobilization, participation, and democracy in America. Basingtoke: Macmillan Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  51. Scully, P. L., & McCoy, M. L. (2005). Study circles: Local deliberation as the cornerstone of deliberative democracy. In J. Gastil & P. Levine (Eds.), The deliberative democracy handbook: Strategies for effective civic engagement in the twenty-first century (pp. 199–212). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  52. Smith, G. (2009). Democratic innovations: Designing institutions for citizen participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Soss, J., & Weaver, V. (2017). Police are our government: Politics, political science, and the policing of race-class subjugated communities. Annual Review of Political Science, 20(1), 565–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Verba, S., Schlozman, K. L., & Brady, H. E. (1995). Voice and equality: Civic voluntarism in American politics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Warren, M., & Pearse, H. (Eds.). (2008). Designing deliberative democracy: The British Columbia citizens’ assembly. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Warren, M. E., & Gastil, J. (2015). Can deliberative minipublics address the cognitive challenges of democratic citizenship? The Journal of Politics, 77(2), 562–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wojcieszak, M. (2011). Pulling toward or pulling away: Deliberation, disagreement, and opinion extremity in political participation. Social Science Quarterly, 92(1), 206–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Daniel Myers
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hunter G. Gordon
    • 1
  • Hyungjin Myra Kim
    • 2
  • Zachary Rowe
    • 3
  • Susan Dorr Goold
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Consulting for Statistics, Computing and Analytics ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Friends of ParksideDetroitUSA
  4. 4.Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in MedicineUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations