Elisabeth Gidengil - Program Participation and Political Engagement? - 31 August 2017

About the lecture

This lecture will draw on the notion of policy feedback to explain variations in people’s political engagement. At the heart of the concept of policy feedback is the assumption that people generalize their every day experiences with government bureaucracies to government and politics at large. Research in the United States has found that frustrating experiences trying to access a government program or resolve a problem can leave people with a feeling of political powerlessness and a diminished belief in their own political agency. Yet the United States is hardly a typical case. Reforms to the welfare system have resulted in a very paternalistic and hierarchical model of public provision.  Drawing on a Canadian survey that includes an over-sample of people receiving means-tested benefits, this lecture will explore how people’s encounters with government in a less paternalistic and robustly liberal welfare state affect their political engagement.

About the speaker

Elisabeth Gidengil is the Hiram Mills Professor at McGill University (Canada) in the Department of Political Science. Her research focus is political engagement, voting behaviour, and public opinion. Primarily using surveys and media content analysis, Professor Gidengil's work examines issues of diversity, gender, immigration, and citizenship. She is also currently carrying out research on the impact of public policy on citizen engagement. 


31 August 2017, 16u, M.105

Participation is free, but online registration is mandatory.