Projects

Democratic Innovation in Practice (DEMOVATE)

In what ways can we renew democracy to encourage as much support for this form of government as possible? New and alternative forms of involvement and participation are important themes in current international discussions on the state of democracy. The DEMOVATE project examines involvement in practice by inviting a random sample of citizens of Bergen to discuss and give advice to policymakers on select cases, in our so-called ?Byborgerpanel?. In cooperation with internationally leading researcher, the project will study democratic innovation and its effect on democratic legitimacy in Norwegian municipalities. Central research questions in the project consider who the participants of Byborgerpanelet are, how to organize the panel, and how politicians and administrators in the municipalities should follow up their advice. With support from the Research Council of Norway, DEMOVATE continues and formalizes an already existing collaboration regarding democratic innovation between the municipality of Bergen, NORCE - Norwegian Research Centre, and the University of Bergen.

Procedural Legitimacy

The primary scientific objective of the PROLEG project is to better understand how democratic institutions and decision-making bodies should organize decision-making procedures and implementation procedures in order to make them more legitimate in the eyes of the public. We study if and how variations in political decision making procedures can make the outcomes more acceptable to the citizens, and especially to those who disagree with the outcome. Do people share universal perceptions of fair decision makingn procedures? In a nutshell, the PROLEG project will address this issue and generate new knowledge that can be used to improve governance in the future. This will be accomplished by conducting experimental and observational studies on the mechanisms of accepting decision-making procedures. The data will mainly be generated within the infrastructure of DIGSSCORE at the University of Bergen, Norway, taking advantage of changes in technology and research methodology that combine to bring computer laboratory research and survey studies closer together.

The European Prediction Market Infrastructure for Political Events - EPIPE

The European Prediction Market Infrastructure for Political Elections develops and facilitates the use of prediction market software for research purposes in relation to elections and other political events. The software has been employed to Norwegian national elections, German national elections, Spanish national and regional government formations, and to Swiss national elections and popular votes.

Selected Publications

This conjoint study investigates the type of mandate a referendum confers in the political decision-making process. While a majority of citizens in general believe that the government should follow the results of a referendum on European Union membership, its perceived legitimacy in the eyes of the public heavily depends upon the level of turnout, the size of the majority, and the outcome of the specific referendum in question. Thus, whether a referendum legitimizes a political decision in the eyes of the public is conditional upon these three dimensions.
In European Union Politics,2019

We elicit citizens’ preferences over hypothetical candidates by applying conjoint survey experiments within a probability-based online panel of the Norwegian electorate. Our experimental treatments differ in whether citizens receive information about candidates’ social characteristics only, candidates’ issue positions only, or both. From this, we identify whether citizens are able to infer substantive policy positions from the descriptive characteristics of potential representatives and use that information to make candidate choices that achieve substantive representation. We find that candidate choice is driven more by knowledge about candidates’ issue positions than by knowledge about their social characteristics and that citizens value substantive representation more robustly than descriptive representation. Importantly, while the direct experimental test of whether voters use the information they obtain from descriptive markers to choose a candidate that gives them substantive representation is inconclusive, we find that voters form beliefs about candidates’ issue positions based solely on candidates’ social characteristics.
In Electoral Studies,2019

We examine how descriptive representation, formal representation, and responsiveness affect the legitimacy of political decisions: Who are the representatives, how are they selected, what is the outcome of the decision-making process, and to what extent do these three aspects matter for decision acceptance among the citizens? We examine this from the citizens’ perspective, and ask whether decisions are perceived as more legitimate when they are made by groups that reflect society in certain characteristics and chosen according to certain selection procedures. In a Norwegian survey experiment, we find that people are more willing to accept a decision when it is made by a group of people like them, and who are assigned as decision makers based on their expertise. Descriptive representation also serves as a cushion for unfavorable decisions. Moreover, when asked, the traditionally less advantaged groups tend to value descriptive representation more than other citizens.
In Comparative Political Studies,2018

Recent Publications

More Publications

(2019). Conditional legitimacy: How turnout, majority size, and outcome affect perceptions of legitimacy in European Union membership referendums.. In European Union Politics.

Project Source Document

(2019). Påvirker det å bli informert om konsekvenser av endringer i stortingvalgordningen velgernes holdninger til den? En surveyeksperimentell tilnærming.. In Norsk statsvitenskapelig tidsskrift.

Project

(2019). Påvirker innvandringsscenarier nordmenns holdninger til innvandrere? Et surveyeksperiment. In Tidsskrift for samfunnsforskning.

PDF Project

(2019). Explaining variance in forecasting error of prediction markets. In International Journal of Forecasting.

Project Source Document

(2018). Do Polls Influence Opinions? Investigating Poll Feedback Loops Using the Novel Dynamic Response Feedback Experimental Procedure. In Social Science Computer Review.

Source Document

(2018). ¿Es estrategico el votante Español?. In Las elecciones generales de 2015 y 2016.

Project

(2017). Har valgkampen noen betydning?. In Lokalvalget 2015 - et valg i kommunereformens tegn?.

Project

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