Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Government Dept.


Nicholas Jacobs

Second Advisor

Tony Corrado


In light of the recent protests against police brutality, we have witnessed overall patterns of dissatisfaction in public opinion with the current state of policing, exacerbated by an inability to produce widespread and substantial police reform. This perplexing issue is the result of increased reliance on top-down regulation, which relies upon the assumption that the users of police services do not directly contribute to the quality of the service produced. As a consequence, there is a general lack of avenues for citizen participation, or bottom-up governance, to effectively channel public opinion towards creating substantive changes within police departments. Constructing a dataset and two variables, bottom-up governance and satisfaction, I run OLS regressions to test whether an increase in bottom-up governance leads to increased citizen satisfaction with the local police department. I find that an increase in bottom- up governance does in fact lead to higher levels of citizen satisfaction. These findings have significant implications that extend far beyond policing and can be applied to the production of all local public goods and services, not only public safety.


Bottom-up governance, Ostrom, co-production, police, satisfaction, survey