This unique book offers an empirical assessment of how social and political involvement relates to theories of citizenship and democracy, providing a detailed comparative assessment of the potential that voluntary organizations offer citizens for social and political participation in several European countries.
The coherent chapters, written by leading European researchers, examine the participatory opportunities offered by a wide and diverse variety of voluntary associations and provides a comparative perspective on the role, structure and functions of associations in six medium-sized European cities – Aalborg (Denmark), Aberdeen (UK), Bern (Switzerland), Enschede (the Netherlands), Mannheim (Germany) and Sabadell (Spain).
This book has a companion volume entitled Citizenship and Involvement in European Democracies edited by Jan van Deth, José Ramón Montero and Anders Westholm (Routledge, 2006).
Both volumes will be of great interest to students and researchers of European politics, comparative politics and sociology.
Introduction 1. Associations, Participation and Democracy Part 1: Mapping the Associational Universe 2. Organizations in Context: Politics and Culture Shaping Associational Life 3. The Associational Universe In Europe: Size And Participation 4. Assessing the Significance of Associational Concerns: Leisure, Politics and Markets Part 2: The Role, Structure and Functions of Associations 5. The Spectrum of Associational Activities: From Self-Help to Lobbying 6. The Internal Structure of Associations 7. Organizational Resources: Personnel and Finances 8. Networking Among Voluntary Associations: Segmented or Integrated? 9. The Political Role of Associations Part 3: Examining Context: Generations, Community Size and Culture 10. The Generational Dimensions of Associational Life 11. City Size and the Nature of Associational Ecologies 12. The Political and Cultural Context of Associational LifeConclusion13. The Prospects of Civil Society and Democratic Governance