Distributing democratic influence: external efficacy and the preferred influence of policy winners and losers
Should those who would be disproportionately affected by a policy change have more influence on that reform than the average citizen? And does it matter whether the affected individuals stand to benefit or lose out from the proposed reform? Despite longstanding debates on proportionality, asymmetry, and affected interests in the democratic theory literature, we know little about public opinion on these questions. This study therefore uses an original survey of 3200 US respondents to explore these attitudes. To do so, it builds on related work highlighting the potential relevance of the type of affectedness as well as individual-level variation in political efficacy, examining: (1) the relationship between the preferred influence of negatively versus positively affected citizens; and (2) the role of external efficacy in shaping these preferences. Results suggest that most respondents favour equal influence regardless of affectedness, but that greater external efficacy may increase the preferred influence of negatively and positively affected citizens.
European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme via a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (Grant no. 750556)
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- International Relations, Politics and History
Published inInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
PublisherOxford University Press
- VoR (Version of Record)
Rights holder© The Author
Publisher statementThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.