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Rediscovering the Civic and Achieving Better Outcomes in Public Policy

  • Start date: 01 September 2007
  • End date: 30 June 2010

This project investigates the most effective means to encourage active citizenship. Citizen activities matter because engagement assists public policy outcomes, such as safer communities and more efficient public services. However, little is known about the link between interventions designed to stimulate participation, the level and depth of civic engagement and policy outcomes. This grant aims to develop greater knowledge and understanding about such links and the type of interventions that policy-makers can undertake to sustain the activities of citizens as users and co-producers of services. The project uses innovative experimental methods, including randomized control trials and design experiments, as well as more traditional survey re-analysis, to understand the civic-outcome link.

The first task is a re-analysis of Citizenship Surveys along with aggregate data to probe the civic-outcome link. The second is a deliberative intervention that investigates the impact of deliberation on a randomly selected panel of internet users. The third is two randomized control trials designed to reduce car use and improve the environment. The fourth is two design experiments on implementing innovative measures to encourage citizen involvement in political decision making.

Further information

Project contact: Professor Peter John, University of Manchester

ESRC contact: Chris Wyatt

Project website: www.civicbehaviour.org.uk