Citizen initiative review: Engaging citizens in local government

Erica McFadden, Thomas Reilly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The state of Arizona in the United States allows citizen groups to put measures on the ballot for voter approval. Nearly three-quarters of Arizona voters polled in 2012 said they found ballot measures too complicated and confusing to fully comprehend. In response, an innovative deliberative technique known as a “mini-public” was piloted on a measure in Arizona’s largest municipality, Phoenix to change the city’s public sector pension plan. “Mini-publics” are where ordinary citizens are randomly chosen and tasked with learning, deliberating and offering an opinion or recommendation about a specific controversial topic, issue or proposal. This chapter evaluates whether the 2014 Arizona Citizen Initiative Review (CIR) was able to change participants’ knowledge base, values and actions. Additionally, it explores whether participants concept of governance changed and whether the CIR motivated participants to action in their communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Governance of Local Communities
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Perspectives and Challenges
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781536106527
ISBN (Print)9781536106381
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Citizen’s initiative review
  • Mini-publics
  • Participatory democracy in local governments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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