Jury service and electoral participation: A test of the participation hypothesis

John Gastil, E. Pierre Deess, Phil Weiser, Jordan Meade

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Abstract

The participation hypothesis holds that when people undertake one civic activity, their likelihood of future political participation increases. Three original studies test this hypothesis by linking the nonvoluntary, institutionalized activity of jury deliberation with future electoral participation. First, 12 in-depth interviews with recent jurors demonstrate that people can conceptualize jury deliberation and voting as related responsibilities. Second, a national study of court and voting records demonstrates that criminal jury deliberation can significantly increase turnout rates among those who were previously infrequent voters. Third, a survey of jurors in a Northwestern county demonstrates that both the objective and subjective experience of jury deliberation influences future voting rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-367
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Politics
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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