Better than Nothing: How Policies Influence Political Participation in Low-Capacity Democracies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A growing body of policy feedback work demonstrates that citizens' experiences with public policy influence the way they participate in politics. Most of this work takes place in advanced industrial democracies, but the nuances of policy design influencing participation in advanced democracies are often irrelevant for those in low-capacity democracies. This study extends the policy feedback framework to address how policies might “feed back” differently in low-capacity countries with uneven basic service delivery. In low-capacity democracies, the most salient distinction is between those who have access to basic state-provided services and those who do not. Using original data collected in Zambia, it demonstrates that those who have even marginal access to state services have higher levels of political engagement and political participation than those without access, indicating that imperfect extension of services may help boost democratic citizenship in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-600
Number of pages18
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Better than Nothing: How Policies Influence Political Participation in Low-Capacity Democracies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this