What prevents knowledge inequalities among citizens from increasing? Evidence from direct-democratic campaigns in Switzerland

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State: Public
Version: Final published version
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Serval ID
serval:BIB_1B97B6B8FC69
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
What prevents knowledge inequalities among citizens from increasing? Evidence from direct-democratic campaigns in Switzerland
Journal
Studies in Communication Sciences
Author(s)
Bernhard Laurent
ISSN
1424-4896
Publication state
Published
Issued date
14/11/2018
Volume
18
Number
1
Pages
103-116
Language
english
Abstract
This article seeks to enrich the normative debate on the advantages and drawbacks of direct democracy
through an empirical analysis of individual learning about the contents of ballot propositions during campaigns.
Following the knowledge gap paradigm, this article examines the factors that prevent socio-economic-
knowledge inequalities among citizens from increasing. I argue that ballot propositions of low complexity
exert a moderating influence, since such environments provide citizens with easy learning situations.
The empirical analysis, based on panel survey data on three federal level votes that took place in Switzerland
from 2006 to 2008, supports the issue complexity hypothesis.
Keywords
Campaigns: Direct democracy, Political knowledge, Switzerland
Open Access
Yes
Create date
06/02/2019 16:13
Last modification date
26/05/2020 6:20
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