First Advisor

Adam Chamberlain


Despite the fact that 96 percent of all political contests in the United States are for local offices, citizens are far more likely to participate in national elections and forgo exercising their voice in local politics. And, although academic literature has focused extensively on citizen participation at the national level, local-level democracy has often been neglected. This neglect may be caused by a lack of interaction between constituencies and city mayors and managers. Without effective communication between both groups, citizens will be unaware of opportunities to affect social and fiscal policies in their communities. Scholars know little about the perceptions of local government officials concerning citizen participation and the media. By analyzing survey data from 221 local municipalities in the South, this study focuses on understanding Southern city mayors' and managers' views on media reporting about government and citizen interest in local politics. This study finds that a majority of Southern city mayors and managers do not put emphasis on increasing citizen engagement in their cities and do not see a connection between the media and citizen participation.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.