Public support for deliberative democracy. A specific look at the attitudes of citizens from disadvantaged groups

Retour aux publications
David Hennessy Talukder and Jean-Benoit Pilet
Taylor & Francis
Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research


This article studies citizens’ support for deliberative democracy in Belgium. It examines it, first, from the perspective of Belgian citizens in general. In a second step, it looks specifically at the attitudes of citizens from four disadvantaged groups (women, lower educated citizens, citizens with precarious job conditions and younger citizens). Regarding these groups we want to see whether they show different levels of support for deliberative democracy than the rest of the population and if their attitudes are driven by the same factors as for citizens from more advantaged groups. Regarding the general population, the main finding is that support for deliberative democracy is driven by negative attitudes towards elected politicians but mainly by positive attitudes regarding the political competence of fellow citizens. Regarding disadvantaged groups, we see first that women and younger citizens show higher levels of support than the rest of the population. Second, when it comes to the factors driving support for deliberative democracy within these disadvantaged groups, it appears that they are similar to the rest of the population except when it comes to political interest. Being more interested in politics is a determinant to be in favour of deliberative democracy for citizens from disadvantaged groups.