Author Biography

Brigitte Geissel is Professor of Political Science and Political Sociology at Goethe-University Frankfurt and Head of the Research Unit ‘Democratic Innovations’. Her research interests include democratic innovations and political actors. Her recent work has appeared in Political Studies, International Political Science Review, Comparative Sociology, West European Politics and the European Journal of Political Research. Pamela Hess has received her PhD from Goethe-University Frankfurt.


So far, not much research has been done explaining the change of political efficacy in deliberative procedures, and case studies or experiments prevail in the field. Quantitative, systematic studies of real-life cases are missing. This article contributes to filling this gap. It identifies factors which lead to increased group-related political efficacy in deliberative procedures applying an almost novel method, i.e. a quantitative meta-synthesis combining and aggregating data from case studies. The study focuses exemplarily on Germany. The findings indicate that an improvement of political efficacy is more likely when deliberative procedures take place in a municipality, which has institutionalized citizens’ involvement in a local ‘participatory plan’ (‘local constitution’) and provides respective staff.