1st Edition

Political Participation in a Changing World Conceptual and Empirical Challenges in the Study of Citizen Engagement

By Yannis Theocharis, Jan W. van Deth Copyright 2018
    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    144 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In the last decades, political participation expanded continuously. This expansion includes activities as diverse as voting, tweeting, signing petitions, changing your social media profile, demonstrating, boycotting products, joining flash mobs, attending meetings, throwing seedbombs, and donating money. But if political participation is so diverse, how do we recognize participation when we see it? Despite the growing interest in new forms of citizen engagement in politics, there is virtually no systematic research investigating what these new and emerging forms of engagement look like, how prevalent they are in various societies, and how they fit within the broader structure of well-known participatory acts conceptually and empirically. The rapid spread of internet-based activities especially underlines the urgency to deal with such challenges.

    In this book, Yannis Theocharis and Jan W. van Deth put forward a systematic and unified approach to explore political participation and offer new conceptual and empirical tools with which to study it. Political Participation in a Changing World will assist both scholars and students of political behaviour to systematically study new forms of political participation without losing track of more conventional political activities.

    Preface  1. Would you recognize a form of political participation if you saw one?  2. The continuous expansions of political participation  3. The continuous expansions of concepts and definitions of political participation  4. Conceptualizing political participation  5. Measuring old and new forms of political participation  6. A road map for the study of political participation


    Yannis Theocharis is Research Fellow at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), University of Mannheim, Germany. His research focuses on political behavior, political communication, new media, and social networks. He was Alexander von Humboldt Fellow and has co-directed several projects investigating the impact of social media on politics. His work has appeared in political science and communication journals such as Journal of Communication, European Political Science Review, New Media & Society, and Electoral Studies.

    Jan W. van Deth is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Comparative Social Research at the University of Mannheim, Germany. His research areas are political culture (especially social capital, political engagement, and citizenship), social change, and comparative research methods. He is a Corresponding Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and Project Director at the MZES. His publications appeared in leading international journals and with high-ranked publishers.

    'Citizen political participation is increasing and diversifying in contemporary democracies. Political Participation in a Changing World provides a theoretical guide to this rich and expanding literature. Theocharis and van Deth present a valuable summary of the research evidence and the new research questions in the participation field.' - Russell J. Dalton, University of California


    'Political Participating in a Changing World addresses several scholarly debates associated with studying how, where, and why citizens engage in politics. The authors argue that participation research has not sufficiently acknowledged societal developments such as globalization, digitalization, and individualization. Theocharis and van Deth attempt to remedy this weakness by identifying five distinct modes of participation that can be used to study how and why citizens engage in and beyond the parliamentary realm of politics. This book offers important advice about studying participation in looser and transnational governance settings that use citizen action to address complex, borderless problems.' - Michele Micheletti, Stockholm University