Although democratic governments have introduced a number of institutional reforms in part intended to increase citizens’ political involvement, studies show a continued decline in regular political engagement. This book examines different forms of political participation in democracies, and in what way the delegation of public responsibilities—or, the diffusion of politics—has affected patterns of participation since the 1980s.
The book addresses this paradox by directly investigating the impact of institutional changes on citizens’ political participation empirically. It re-analyses patterns of political participation in contemporary democracies, providing an in-depth time series cross-sectional analysis that helps develop a better understanding of how variation in political participation can be explained, both between countries and over time. As such, it develops an institutional theoretical framework which can help to explain levels of participation and shows that, instead of displaying more political apathy, citizens have reallocated or displaced their activities to a broader array of forms of participation.
This book will be of key interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, democratization, political participation and electoral politics.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Changing Democratic System 1. Patterns of Change 2. The Three Sides of the Coin: Unpacking Political Participation 3. Structuring Diffusion: Explaining Levels of Political Participation Part II: Patterns of Participation: The Impact of Competence Diffusion 4. Participation and Horizontal Diffusion 5. Participation and Vertical Diffusion 6. Political Participation and Diagonal Diffusion Part III: Democracy at the Crossroads? Some Conclusions 7. Levels of Political Participation and Multi-Directional Diffusion 8. Patterns of Change: Diffused Democracy
Yvette Peters is a Researcher at the University of Bergen, Norway, and has been Assistant Professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, before that.