Research report

How innovation in participation could increase legitimacy


  • 2023
English Legitimacy is the bedrock of any democratic regime. Effective governance crucially relies on citizens’support of the political system and the decisions it produces. This study investigates how participatory budgeting as a novel form of political participation relates to legitimacy perceptions. In a conjoint vignette survey experiment, we asked respondents to rate the legitimacy of hypothetical participatory budget decision processes, relating to a Swiss local context and differing in three attributes: (1) the opportunity to introduce policy proposal (agenda-setting), (2) the opportunity to vote on a proposal according to different voting methods, (3) whether the decision is in line with the respondent’s policy preferences or not. We find that participation in agenda-setting, (preferential) voting, and outcome favorability significantly increase the perceived legitimacy of participatory udgeting processes. However, our findings suggest that novel participation opportunities do not alleviate the difference in perceived legitimacy between the winners and losers created by policy decisions.
Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales et du management
  • English
Series statement
  • Working Papers SES ; 532
License undefined
Persistent URL

Document views: 63 File downloads:
  • WP_SES_532.pdf: 37