My thesis studies the inclusion of interested parties in committees that are designed to advise a decision-making body. I address two questions: First, under what combination of features – institutional rules, committee composition, the preferences of the decision-making body and interest groups, and the nature of the policy issue – does stakeholder inclusion lead to informed consensus? Second, under what circumstances does an informational committee with stakeholder representation provide more information than would be obtained through external or expert consultations?
I address these questions using a formal model. I then test the model empirically using a data set of almost 3000 Swedish commissions of inquiry from 1990-2010, which I am collecting during my fieldwork stay in Sweden in 2017-2018. When completed, the data set will be made available to other researchers.
The dissertation relates to two broader topics. The first is the long-standing debate about the merits of deliberative democracy and participatory politics. The second is the current crisis in democratic legitimacy which is occurring even in advanced democracies. I hope that, in some small way, my thesis can contribute to finding realistic institutional remedies for this crisis.
I also have several working papers and publications, which can be found here: