Self-reported health and democratic innovations: the case of the citizens’ initiative in Finland

  • Henrik Serup ChristensenEmail author
  • Maija Setälä
  • Maija Jäske


This study examines the association between self-reported health and the propensity for supporting citizens’ initiatives in Finland. Democratic innovations such as the citizens’ initiative provide novel ways for citizens to express their preferences, but whether people in poor health make use of such possibilities remains unclear. The data come from the Finnish National Election Study (FNES2015), a cross-sectional representative sample of the Finnish population. The results suggest that self-reported health affects the propensity to sign citizens’ initiatives, but the effect depends on age since it mobilizes young citizens in poor health, whereas the impact on older generations is negligible.


Health Democratic innovations Citizens’ initiative Political participation Marginalization 



A previous version of this paper was presented at the 2017 ECPR Joint Sessions in Nottingham, workshop “Health and Political Behavior”. The authors would like to thank all the participants. The research was funded by Academy of Finland, grant number 274305 (Democratic Reasoning) and 285167 (Democratic innovations in Finland and political legitimacy).


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Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Serup Christensen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maija Setälä
    • 2
  • Maija Jäske
    • 2
  1. 1.SamforskÅbo Akademi UniversityTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy, Contemporary History and Political ScienceUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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