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Local government size and political efficacy: do citizen panels make a difference?

Andrews, Rhys, Entwistle, Tom and Guarneros-Meza, Valeria 2018. Local government size and political efficacy: do citizen panels make a difference? International Journal of Public Administration
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Abstract

Democratic theorists suggest that the size of local government is an important influence on citizens’ political efficacy. Typically, it is argued that small is beautiful for efficacy, because residents in areas served by smaller local governments are more likely to feel empowered to engage with decision-making. Nonetheless, it is conceivable that large governments can impart a higher degree of political efficacy by introducing structures that involve citizens more closely in decision-making. This paper examines these arguments by analysing whether jurisdiction size influences political efficacy in Welsh local government, and whether the presence of a citizen panel makes a difference to the size-efficacy relationship. Multi-level analyses suggest that size is negatively associated with internal and external political efficacy, but that larger local governments can overcome the burden of bigness for external efficacy through the use of citizen panels. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
ISSN: 0190-0692
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 July 2018
Date of Acceptance: 8 July 2018
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2018 20:01
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/113036

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