While scholars have found several benefits to citizens, government, and society resulting from participatory policy processes, other research suggests that citizens are apathetic and uninterested in participating in policy-making. Also, in some cases, knowing that similar others participated in making a decision can decrease support for the result. The current research attempts to determine whether knowledge that similar citizens participated in public transportation policymaking or elites designed a transit policy affects support for the policy as well as general support for the policy process. Results from a survey experiment suggest that who participates matters. Citizens do not want “people like them” developing public transportation policies. These findings pose implications for the promotion of participatory processes.
Risner, Geneviève & Bergan, Daniel.
The Perils of Participation: The Effect of Participation Messages on Citizens’ Policy Support.
Journal of Public Transportation, 15 (2): 137-156.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jpt/vol15/iss2/7