This volume explores how citizens participate in democratic politics today and the development of new participatory forms. It demonstrates that while the benefits of an active citizenry appear great in advanced democracies, many citizens don't find political involvement attractive and increasingly leave the floor to professional associations and opt for individualized modes of collective action. With a series of empirical and comparative case studies, the authors focus on two key types of political participation: the rise of checkbook participation, where citizens are content to contract out the participation function to the policy influencing professionals and pay for this service. Instead of conceiving of these organizations as mass political bodies 'they' may be better represented as supplier/customer relationships - groups sell protest and ersatz political involvement. The growing attractiveness of individualized forms of participation, for example donating money, signing a petition, boycotting products or ethical shopping, rather than a collective form attending meetings, rallies or demonstrations. It will be of interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, civil society, social movements, political participation and democracy studies.
Jan W. van Deth is Professor of Political Science and International Comparative Social Research at the University of Mannheim, Germany. William A. Maloney is Professor of Politics and Head of Politics in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University, UK.
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Date of Publication
Politics & Government: Textbooks & Study Guides
Routledge/ECPR Studies in European Political Science
Place of Publication
Country of Publication
12 black & white illustrations, 24 black & white tables, 12 black & white line drawings