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FSD2355 Deliberative Discussion on Nuclear Power 2006


  • Grönlund, Kimmo (Åbo Akademi University. Institute for Finland-Swedish Sociological Research)
  • Herne, Kaisa (University of Turku. Department of Political Science)
  • Setälä, Maija (University of Turku. Department of Political Science)


attitudes, democracy, energy, nuclear energy, nuclear power stations, organizations, political action, public opinion


The data contain the responses of five surveys conducted in connection with the deliberative experiment called Citizen Deliberation organised by the Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence "Democracy: a Citizen Perspective", at the Åbo Akademi University. The Citizen Deliberation was en experiment on democratic deliberation, which culminated in the actual deliberation day organised in Turku on the 18th of November 2006. The topic of the discussion was: "Should a sixth nuclear power plant be built in Finland?" Before the actual deliberation day, the participants received balanced information on nuclear energy, and they were also given an opportunity to hear experts' views on the topic. The discussion was conducted under guidance in small groups.

The surveys were conducted in three waves: in September 2006, on the 18th of November 2006, and in February 2007. In September, 2,500 randomly sampled people from Turku region were sent a survey and an invitation to the Citizen Deliberation event. The survey contained questions on nuclear power, energy, social participation, and political activity. In addition, socio-economic background variables were included in the September questionnaire.

The November wave contained three surveys, which were conducted at the beginning, during, and at the end of the deliberative discussion. In the first survey, the respondents participating in the discussion were asked about their views on energy issues and general knowledge on political issues. The respondents replied to the second survey after familiarising themselves with the balanced information on nuclear energy and hearing the experts, but before the group discussions. The third survey was presented to the respondents at the end of the event, and it contained the same questions that were posed at the beginning of the discussion and in September. In addition, the respondents' experiences on the Citizen Deliberation were charted. The number of respondents in the November surveys was 135.

In February, the participants of the Citizen Deliberation and the respondents volunteered in the September survey were sent a follow-up questionnaire, which included mostly the same questions as the first data collection round, but there were also additional questions for those who had participated in the Citizen Deliberation event.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, mother tongue, municipality of residence, year of birth, marital status, education, occupational group, economic activity, household size, and gross income.

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