Gherghina, S.  and Tap, P. (2023) Close to politics and to policies: subjective knowledge about referendum topics in Eastern Europe. Comparative European Politics.

Citizens with political knowledge can contribute to the quality of democracy in their country. Previous research has established the existence of differences between the actual (objective) and perceived (subjective) level of political knowledge, but the factors driving citizens’ subjective political knowledge in a specific setting in which they can take direct decisions remain unclear. To explain what determines subjective knowledge about referendum topics among voters, the present analysis focuses on seven referendums held in Eastern Europe between 2015 and 2019 in Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania (twice), and Slovakia. We use individual-level data from surveys conducted in the aftermath of each referendum with a total number of 1825 actual voters. The results indicate that more politically engaged citizens, those who trust parties and are satisfied with democracy, and those who are critical towards the government consider themselves more informed about the referendum topics.