Paradoxes of Participation
This chapter deals with the facilitating aspects of active citizenship. We will focus on explaining the variation in extra-parliamentary activities, such as signing petitions, demonstrating, displaying badge stickers, and boycotting products — based on data collected from 20 European countries. Secondly, a broader typology of activism will also be developed. The main questions dealt with here are primarily how feelings of dissatisfaction with the government and feelings of being a member of a discriminated group affect the level of extra-parliamentary participation. Furthermore we will look at how various welfare regimes condition the extent to which these groups chose to act. So we are back to the dynamics between societal structures and political agents, and I combine a critical tradition which suggests that political participation is motivated by a feeling of dissatisfaction with an institutional perspective where certain institutional conditions are seen as enablers for citizens to actively participate in political life.
KeywordsCivil Society Welfare State Political Participation Creative Activism Direct Democracy
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