Democratic Phoenix: Reinventing Political Activism
Conventional wisdom suggests that citizens in many countries have become disengaged from the traditional channels of political participation. Commentators highlight warning signs including sagging electoral turnout, rising anti-party sentiment, and the decay of civic organizations. But are these concerns justified? This book compares systematic evidence for electoral turnout, party membership, and civic activism in countries around the world and suggests good reasons to question assumptions of decline. Not only is the obituary for older forms of political activism premature, but new forms of civic engagement may have emerged in modern societies to supplement traditional modes. Political participation appears to have evolved over the years, in terms of the agencies, actions used for political expression, and political actors that participants seek to influence. The process of societal modernization and rising levels of human capital are primarily responsible, although participation is also explained by the structure of the state, the role of agencies, and social inequalities.
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activists Africa analysis Asia-Pacific C&E Europe Cambridge University Press campaign chapter churches citizens civic engagement civic society compared comparison compulsory voting contests countries cross-national cultural decline democratic electoral participation electoral system electoral turnout environmental erosion established democracies European evidence factors Freedom House gender Global human development Human Development Index impact important industrialized Journal of Political measured Medium mobilizing agencies models newer democracies older democracies Oxford University Press parliamentary party membership party organizations party system patterns percent Pippa Norris political participation Political Parties postindustrial societies postwar presidential proportion protest activism protest politics religious representative democracy Robert Putnam role Ronald Inglehart secular Sidney Verba social capital social movements social trust socioeconomic development structure suggest survey Table theories tions trade unions traditional trends types union density union membership voluntary associations Vote/VAP voter turnout voting participation voting-age population Western Europe World Values Study World Values Survey York
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