Deliberative and Participatory Democracy? Ideological Strength and the Processes Leading from Deliberation to Political Engagement
Posted: 4 Jun 2010
Date Written: Summer 2010
We draw on a nationally representative sample of American adults who reported having participated in face-to-face deliberation (N = 756). We use structural equation modeling to first ask whether perceived political diversity differently influences follow-up engagement in various civic or political activities among strong, weak, and moderate ideologues. We also examine the processes-cognitive and affective-that lead from perceived diversity to follow-up engagement, and assess whether these processes depend on ideological strength. We find that follow-up political engagement among strong ideologues is primarily affected by their prior civic and political participation. Weak ideologues, in turn, are mobilized through cognitive reactions to perceived diversity, and moderates through affective reactions. Our results add to the debate on deliberative versus participatory democracy, suggesting that research should more closely attend to individual characteristics and underlying mechanisms.
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