Dr James Pow, QUB, 'The perceived legitimacy of deliberative minipublics: Taking the perspective of polarised citizens.'
Across the world, deliberative minipublics are becoming increasingly popular. Even though only a small fraction of the population is selected to take part, there is growing evidence that the wider public generally tends to perceive minipublics and their outcomes as legitimate. However, in unpacking these legitimacy beliefs, it is important to take into account how attitudes may vary between subgroups in diverse societies. In this study, we argue that polarised citizens may be more sceptical towards minipublics and their outcomes compared to more moderate citizens. We test this premise using original survey data collected in Northern Ireland (n = 932), a highly polarised society where a minipublic was organised on the contentious issue of the polity’s constitutional future. We find that higher levels of ideological polarisation and, to an extent, higher levels of affective polarisation are associated with lower levels of perceived minipublic legitimacy among the wider public.
This event will be held both in person and online via MS Teams.