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Americans Want Workplace Democracy, Study in APSR Finds

Americans spend much of their lives at work, which tends to be a politics-free space. In a new paper in American Political Science Review, Soumyajit Mazumder and Alan Yan show that most American employees would prefer a form of democracy at their workplace. This could include measures such as having workers sit on corporate boards and giving them a say in managerial appointments.

They also find that respondents would prefer a more democratic work environment over wage increases of up to 20 dollars an hour. Their findings apply to supporters of both political parties, with Democrats showing a slightly stronger preference for workplace democracy.

The authors touch upon an important facet of CPR: as companies consistently bring together people from a wide range of backgrounds, they are ideally placed to embed democratic processes in the daily lives of their employees and thereby to bolster the democratic system as a whole. By creating opportunities for political participation in the workplace, companies can aspire to become centers of sociopolitical learning which help to strengthen debating culture and the civil negotiation of disagreement.

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