Research on Finnish Society



Process or Outcome? How the Citizens’
Initiative to Ban Fur Farming affected Political Trust among Users of Avoin Ministeriö

Henrik Serup Christensen
Åbo Akademi University


In 2012, Finland introduced the citizens’ initiative to boost political support among citizens by extending possibilities for popular involvement in political decision making. However, it is still unclear whether the introduction had the intended effects. This article examines how the first decision by the Finnish parliament on a citizens’ initiative affected political trust among users on the website Avoin Ministeriö. The data come from a quasi-experimental survey study with 421 respondents before and after the decision of the Finnish parliament on the first citizens’ initiative in Finland. In particular, it is examined whether outcome satisfaction or process satisfaction were the most important factors for shaping the developments. The results suggest that both outcome and process satisfaction matters for the developments in political trust, but satisfaction with the process is the more important predictor. The implications for the effects of the Finnish citizens’ initiative are discussed in the conclusion.

Keywords: Citizens’ initiative, political trust, democratic innovations, democracy, political participation

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