Mini-Publics and the Wider Public: The Perceived Legitimacy of Randomly Selecting Citizen Representatives

Paper by James Pow: “There are two important dimensions to the membership of mini-publics that are distinct from the membership of conventional representative institutions: the selection mechanism (sortition) and the profile of the body’s eligible membership (‘ordinary’ citizens). This article examines the effects of these design features on perceived legitimacy. A survey experiment in the deeply divided context of Northern Ireland finds no evidence that variation in mini-public selection features has an overall effect on perceived legitimacy, but there are important individual-level differences….(More)”.