Barriers are barriers : asymmetric participation in the Scottish public petitions system

Carman, Christopher (2012) Barriers are barriers : asymmetric participation in the Scottish public petitions system. Parliamentary Affairs. ISSN 0031-2290

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Abstract

While a great deal is known about public awareness of ‘traditional’ methods of political participation, far less is known about public awareness and use of democratic innovations such as Scotland's flagship public petitions system. This paper makes use of a survey conducted in 2009 by Ipsos MORI Scotland for the Public Petitions Committee to examine the influence of resource constraints on public knowledge and participation in the petitions system. While resource constraints such as internet access and lack of time influence the amount of knowledge people have of participation options, the effect is significantly greater on actual participation.