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Research on the Citizens' Assembly of Scotland, 2019-2021

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stephen ElstubORCiD


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The Citizens' Assembly of Scotland was Scotland's first national level assembly which brought together a demographically representative cross-section of Scotland's adult population. The Assembly ran from October 2019 to December 2021 and across 8 weekends (face to face and online) members deliberated on the kind of country they would like to build, how to overcome 21st century challenges and how to give citizens’ the information they need to make informed decisions about the future of the country.The collaborative research programme on the Citizens' Assembly of Scotland had the following aims:· To provide ongoing evaluative evidence about the Assembly process· To evaluate the success of the Assembly as a model of public engagement in Scotland· To produce an anonymised research dataset on the Assembly that will be accessible for use by researchers, practitioners and leaders and contribute to the developing global evidence on democratic innovation. The research questions that guided the data collection and analysis addressed both the internal operation of the assembly and its relationship and impact with wider Scottish society. Some of the data was gathered during the Assembly process and other data was gathered when the Assembly concluded.Further information about the research can be found in the published research reportBetween the period of October 2019 and September 2021, the research programme generated quantitative and qualitative data from seven sources. The data deposited in the UK data service consists of data from the following sources:1. Population Survey: Survey data from a demographically representative sample of the Scottish adult population on their views of the Assembly. Two Waves conducted in March and September 2021 with ~1500 participants in each wave. 2. Member Survey: Survey data from assembly members tracking their experiences, knowledge and attitudes across the Assembly weekends3. Transcripts: Transcripts of audio recorded small group discussions4. Expert Speaker Survey: Qualitative data from an online survey of expert speakers who provided evidence to the Assembly5. Media Analysis: Overview of identified media coverage of the Assembly between August 2019 and March 2021

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elstub S, Escobar O, Henderson A, Thorne T, Bland N, Bowes E

Publication type: Research Dataset/Database

Publication status: Published

Year: 2022

Print publication date: 20/12/2022

Online publication date: 20/12/2022

Acceptance date: 04/12/2022

Number/Code: SN: 8992

Publisher: UK Data Service


DOI: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-8992-1

Notes: Population Survey: Two samples of 1500 adults (16+) demographically representative of the general population with respect to age, gender Member Surveys: Depending on the survey 82% and 100% of members attending the Citizens’ Assembly weekend. Membership of the Citizens’ Assembly was designed to be broadly representative of the general population with respect to geography, age, gender, ethnic group, educational qualifications, limiting long term conditions or disabilities and political attitudes. Transcripts of recorded small group discussions: A random sample of the group discussions during each weekend of the Assembly, drawn from the larger Citizens’ Assembly membership, as described above. Expert Speaker survey: 10 of the 14 expert speakers who provided evidence to the Assembly