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Political Institutions, Engagement and Outreach: The Case of the Northern Ireland Assembly

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alistair Clark

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Abstract

Democracies are faced increasingly with the challenge of engaging the public on the assumption that such activity will lead to greater understanding of, and enhanced trust in, political institutions. This is a particular difficulty for an institution such as the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA), established against the backdrop of a historically divided society with high levels of political conflict and which has itself been suspended on several occasions. This article reports the findings from the NIA's first survey of public engagement, conducted as part of the Assembly's broader engagement strategy. It provides a baseline against which future levels of engagement can be judged. Moreover, it highlights a range of challenges that face both the NIA and its Members of the Legislative Assembly if the Assembly is to engage successfully with the public in the aftermath of the 2011 elections.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Clark A, Wilford R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Parliamentary Affairs

Year: 2012

Volume: 65

Issue: 2

Pages: 380-403

Print publication date: 01/11/2011

ISSN (print): 0031-2290

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2482

Publisher: Oxford University Press

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsr039

DOI: 10.1093/pa/gsr039


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