Democracy in Action: Public Engagement in Strathcona County

  • Author / Creator
    Green, Dawn
  • Public engagement is an important part of democratic municipal decision-making, but determining what motivates citizens to participate has not been well researched. This research used a 10-question online survey (N = 36), followed by semistructured individual interviews (N = 7) and focus groups (N = 2), to answer the question, “What role does democracy have in motivating Strathcona County citizens to participate in in-person public engagement sessions?” Findings indicate that egoism was the main reason participants attended public engagement meetings, and some interviewees had not considered that public engagement processes support democracy. Through discussion in public engagement meetings, citizens can work toward the common good through enlightened self-interest. The deliberation that happens in a public engagement process increases understanding of democratic ideals and hones citizens’ skills. Municipalities can increase awareness of the importance of public engagement in democracies by educating the public in simple ways. Suggestions for further research include increased study of all facets of municipal public engagement.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2023
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.