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A Voice without a Veto: Consensus-building through Inclusion of Stakeholders

Pronin, Kira (2021) A Voice without a Veto: Consensus-building through Inclusion of Stakeholders. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This thesis studies whether including a broad group of stakeholders in policy advisory commissions helps build consensus. It may seem that including interested parties with conflicting preferences would increase conflict, but advisory commissions reach unanimity with a surprisingly high frequency. I propose two reasons why diversity can increase agreement. First, ideologically diverse parties from a variety of backgrounds can produce a greater variety of policy-relevant knowledge, increasing the valence of a proposal. Second, in a diverse commission, a proposal without broad appeal will lead some commission members to issue dissenting opinions, which reduce the government's willingness to follow the majority recommendation. I show in a formal model that both of these factors help increase consensus by incentivizing commission members to coordinate on a policy recommendation that all actors weakly prefer to the government's outside option. To test the model's predictions, I use a novel, hand-collected data set of 2,705 Swedish commissions of inquiry that completed their inquiries between 1990 and 2018. Swedish governments appoint commissions for all significant legislative initiatives, so the data minimize selection bias. As the theory predicts, I find that increasing stakeholder representation in broadly representative commissions increases consensus. The last chapter of this thesis studies the preconditions that make it possible for this institution to flourish. These may explain variation in the appointment of broadly representative commissions under different governments.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pronin, Kirakip13@pitt.edukip130000-0003-4010-2450
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPeters, B.
Committee MemberSpoon,
Committee MemberWoon,
Committee MemberMacKenzie,
Committee MemberMurtazashvili,
Date: 20 January 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 24 November 2020
Approval Date: 20 January 2021
Submission Date: 4 December 2020
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 147
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: advisory commissions; commissions of inquiry; consensus; policy formulation; valence; EITM
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2021 19:09
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2022 06:15


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