Who Supports Citizens Selected by Lot to be the Main Policymakers? A Study of French Citizens

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 Jean-Benoit Pilet and Camille Bedock
Cambridge University Press

In Government & Opposition.


Despite their multiplication over the last 15 years, studies on the support for assemblies composed of citizens selected by lot are rare and the few that exist analyse citizens’ attitudes towards such mini-publics as consultative bodies associated with traditional representative institutions. In this article, we examine support for citizens selected by lot as new policymakers who take the most important political decisions instead of political representatives. We contrast support for this radical democratic innovation with support for two other reforms that increase citizen participation: generic support for a greater involvement of citizens in policymaking, and specific support for citizen-initiated referendums. The goal is to understand whether the drivers of support for citizens selected by lot overlap or differ from the drivers of support for other forms of citizen participation. We rely upon data from the 2017 French Election Study.