Edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar
The chapter provides an overview of the use of experiments in the study of democratic innovations. We focus on a specific case of democratic innovations, mini-publics, because most experiments study that institutional form. We describe first what are the typical characteristics of an experiment, and provide a classification of experiment types. After that we provide examples of mini-public experiments and go through one of them in more detail, to give the reader an idea of how mini-public experiments are conducted in practice. The detailed description concerns a mini-public experiment about nuclear power that examines the influence of the decision making method on certain output variables. After the examples, we elaborate on the challenges of experimental research paying attention to issues related to internal and external validity. We finish the chapter by providing suggestions about how to handle challenges related to experiments.
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