The Micro-Level Consequences of Democracy Promotion: A Field Experiment in Rural Cambodia
Posted: 30 Jun 2014
Date Written: August 15, 2013
Since the early 1990s, efforts to promote democracy throughout the world have proliferated, yet as many scholars and policy-makers lament, the effects of these democracy promotion programs are poorly understood. In this paper we introduce a randomized field experiment intended to evaluate one democracy promotion program undertaken by an international non-governmental organization (INGO) in Cambodia. We show that citizen exposure to multi-party town hall meetings has positive effects on citizen knowledge about politics, attitudes towards democracy, and reported political behavior, but has null effects on citizen confidence in the political process. In addition, several months after the intervention, qualitative evidence suggests that problem issues in treatment villages are more likely to be addressed than in control villages.
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