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Explaining Modes of Participation: A Dynamic Test of Alternative Rational Choice Models

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Abstract

Rational choice accounts of political participation identify two major solutions to ‘the paradox of participation’: collective incentives and selective incentives. Prior findings regarding the viability of these solutions are seemingly inconclusive and contradictory. One important reason for this could be that the applicability of these solutions varies across participatory modes. In this article, a first attempt is made to develop a theoretical answer to the question of why this may be the case. The predictions are then tested across four different modes of participation, using longitudinal data that eliminate or reduce the biases inherent in cross-sectional designs. The results show different types of incentives to strike with distinctly variable force across different modes of participation. Most importantly, whereas electoral modes of participation (voting and party activity) are affected by selective incentives only, the non-electoral modes (contacting and manifestations) are the consequence of both collective and selective incentives.

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... The core assumption of his theory is that people participate in collective action only if they can obtain selective incentives through this activity. In addition to material benefits, these incentives may include, for instance, the satisfaction of complying with social norms stressing the importance of political participation, or simply the social benefits that one gets when joining others in purposeful action (Bäck et al., 2011). The important point is that the incentives one obtains from collective action depend on the type of action in question. ...
... Thus, we rely here on theories of collective action from political science. Political participation is more likely if the activity rewards the participants with some kind of psychological reward (Bäck et al., 2011). ...
... Participation in collective action also provides social benefits, that is, rewards from working together with other persons with similar political goals. While voting is an act that one can perform alone, participating in demonstrations is clearly a group-based action (Bäck et al., 2011). ...
Article
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Disability affects the lives of hundreds of millions across the world. People with disabilities often experience discrimination and unequal treatment. Sometimes the mere categorization of people into groups, i.e., ‘healthy’ vs. ‘disabled’, is enough to trigger discriminatory behaviour against people with disabilities. Previous studies show that in general disabilities depress political participation. However, the effect of disability-based discrimination on participation has received little scholarly attention. We study how perceptions of discrimination affect three forms of political participation: voting, contacting politicians and participating in demonstrations. Results show that disability decreases voting, especially when associated with perceptions of discrimination. The analysis points in the opposite direction when the other two forms of political participation are analysed. People with disabilities are more likely to partake in demonstrations and contact politicians than non-disabled. Thus, disability-based discrimination is not always a hindrance to participation. It sometimes further motivates people with disabilities to participate.
... This paper aims to study the entire social strata to comprehend why US political participation is only 15% when the last voter turnout for the presidential election was 61%. Therefore, the study focuses on civic participatory actions as forms of political participation (Barrett and Brunton-Smith 2014) and examines voting as a distinct form of political participation since it is the most influenced by social norms (Bäck et al. 2011). ...
... On the other hand, voting is a distinct form of political participation and is treated as such in this study. When compared to other forms of political participation, voting is the most influenced by social norms (Bäck et al. 2011;Galais and Blais 2014) and is habitually reinforced (Harder and Krosnick 2008)-calling into question the voluntary aspect of such action. Furthermore, the electoral system influences the number of electoral votes. ...
... Furthermore, the covariance between voting and other forms of political participation is significant but small. The results confirm the conclusions of Bäck et al. (2011), Galais and Blais (2014), and Harder and Krosnick (2008), who empirically described voting behaviour as an act mainly caused by social norms, which is habitually reinforced. Hence, both independent variables do not aid us in explaining the voting phenomenon. ...
Article
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In the United States (US), citizens’ political participation is 15%. Contemporary psychological models explaining political participation are based on education and socioeconomic status, which are unable to explain the overall low political participation figures. The study suggests a holistic approach, with two societal tendencies: increasing work-related stress and diminishing offline social leisure, together with a mediating effect of participatory efficacy to assess associations with the political participation of US voters. The quantitative correlational study uses structural equation modelling (SEM) analysis on the General Social Survey representative sample of US voters (N = 295, Mage = 44.49, SD = 13.43), controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Work-related stress was not significantly associated with political participation (β = 0.08, p = 0.09). Offline social leisure was positively associated with political participation (β = 0.28, p < 0.001). The mediating effect of participatory efficacy on the relationship between offline social leisure and political participation was positive and significant (β = 0.05, p < 0.001). Additional analyses, regression and SEM on the European Social Survey sample (N = 27,604) boosted internal and external validity. Results indicate that offline social leisure is more predictive than education and socioeconomic status, showing that examining societal trends leads to a better understanding of political participation.
... Several solutions to this 'paradox' have been presented. We focus on solutions centering on selective incentives, benefits that accrue to those who participate and are enjoyed independently of the political outcome (Bäck, Teorell, & Westholm, 2011). Specifically, we are interested in incentives relating to the social groups that individuals belong to. ...
... Research here has focused on the fact that some individuals have a high sense of 'efficacy'. Second, the selective incentives model focuses on the benefits that accrue to those who participate and are enjoyed independently of the political outcome (Bäck et al., 2011). ...
... These authors therefore stress the importance of psychic gratifications, such as the positive experience of having done one's duty when voting (cf. Bäck et al., 2011). Another type of selective incentive is known as expressive incentives. ...
Article
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People may engage in protest activity either because of collective incentives or selective incentives, or a combination of them. In this study we focus on the selective incentives part of the calculus of political participation, particularly the impact of the social dimension. We hypothesize that people will participate in demonstrations or other forms of protest, to a higher extent if they are afraid of rejection, but only if they feel that they have high social support for their own position. This hypothesis was supported in an online survey experiment where social support was manipulated. Results also revealed that individuals who were highly rejection sensitive were among the most likely to participate even though they did not believe protest activity to be an efficient way to bring about social change. This supports the notion that some individuals tend to engage in protest activity for purely social reasons. However it is still unclear whether these individuals are driven by an approach motivation to establish new social bonds or an avoidance motivation to escape possible social rejection.
... where U is the utility of voting, B the benefit derived from the success of the preferred candidate or party, P the probability that the vote cast will decide the outcome of the election and C the costs of taking part in the election (Bäck, Teorell and Westholm 2011). A citizen will thus choose to vote when the benefits of voting exceed the coststhat is, when P × B > C. The calculus of voting has on several occasions been generalised to other forms of collective action, such as group membership (Moe 1980), rebellions (Muller and Opp 1986), party activity (Whiteley 1995) or simply 'political participation' in general (Nagel 1987;Bäck, Teorell and Westholm 2011). ...
... where U is the utility of voting, B the benefit derived from the success of the preferred candidate or party, P the probability that the vote cast will decide the outcome of the election and C the costs of taking part in the election (Bäck, Teorell and Westholm 2011). A citizen will thus choose to vote when the benefits of voting exceed the coststhat is, when P × B > C. The calculus of voting has on several occasions been generalised to other forms of collective action, such as group membership (Moe 1980), rebellions (Muller and Opp 1986), party activity (Whiteley 1995) or simply 'political participation' in general (Nagel 1987;Bäck, Teorell and Westholm 2011). In general terms, B is the utility derived from a successful act of participation (e.g. a change in government policy), P is the probability that the contribution of a single individual will decide the outcome, and C is the cost incurred by that contribution. ...
... Still, many individuals become active. This is the paradox of participation (Bäck, Teorell and Westholm 2011). ...
Book
In analysing speeches made by legislators, this book provides theoretical and empirical answers to questions such as: Why do some Members of Parliament (MPs) take the parliamentary floor and speak more than others, and why do some MPs deviate more than others from the ideological position of their party? The authors evaluate their hypotheses on legislative speechmaking by considering parliamentary debates in seven European democracies: Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway and Sweden. Assuming that MPs are concerned with policy-making, career advancement, and re-election, the book discusses various incentives to taking the floor, and elaborates on the role of gender and psychological incentives in speechmaking. The authors test our expectations on a novel dataset that covers information on the number of speeches held by MPs and on the ideological positions MPs adopted when delivering a speech.
... Social norms guide humans' everyday behavior, and impact the ways in which individuals become politically engaged (Bäck, Bäck, & Garcia-Albacete, 2013;Bäck, Teorell, & Westholm, 2011). One reason as to why individuals tend to adhere to social norms is that deviation from said norms may lead to disapproval and rejection (Asch, 1955;Dijker & Koomen, 2007). ...
... This literature has identified two main solutions to the paradox, where the first focuses on collective incentives, assuming that people do not consider their own opportunities to influence the outcome to be negligible, which implies the existence of expected collective benefits. The second solution focuses instead on selective incentives, that is, benefits that ac-crue only to those who participate and that can be enjoyed independently of the outcome (Bäck, Teorell, & Westholm, 2011). Selective incentives refer to the benefits that can bring satisfaction regardless of the political outcome. ...
... These selective incentives are often based on social factors. For example an individual may experience satisfaction when complying with social norms about being a good citizen, or enjoyment through the company of likeminded others, regardless of the political outcome (Bäck et al., 2011;Bäck et al., 2013). ...
Article
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Social norms guide humans' everyday behavior, and previous research has shown that social norms consistently predict some forms of political participation. Failure to conform to norms may lead to deviation and possible rejection, which humans innately seek to avoid since it threatens their need for belongingness. Following an episode of rejection, individuals are therefore likely to become increasingly willing to conform to norms in order to re-establish a position in their social group. In an experiment, we show that 1) individuals conform to a perceived political engagement norm, and that 2) when rejection associations are made salient, they become increasingly willing to conform to a political engagement norm. We also show 3) that this effect is moderated by individual-level need for belongingness, such that rejection primed participants with a high need to belong, showed the highest levels of conformity to the perceived political engagement norm. The results imply that social pressure is a strong motivating factor in political engagement, which is an important result suggesting that basic social affiliation needs may in fact have an impact on politics and political outcomes.
... A second solution involves specifying a model in which "collective incentives" might yield a nonzero expected utility of participation, focusing mainly on the role of "efficacy beliefs," or the idea that some individuals believe that they can influence collective outcomes (H. Bäck, Teorell, & Westholm, 2011). ...
... Within both the political science and social psychological literature on collective action, scholars have stressed the importance of efficacy (H. Bäck et al., 2011;Dalton, van Sickle, & Weldon, 2009;Finkel & Muller, 1998;Klandermans & van Stekelenburg, 2013;van Zomeren et al., 2004). Efficacy can be broadly defined as the belief an individual has about his or her ability to affect the outcome, either as an individual or as a collective. ...
Article
Why do people engage in collective actions, such as demonstrations? We suggest that intentions to engage in protest activities come from the perception that the action is an efficient way to affect policy but is also dependent upon the level of others’ engagement. Specifically, lower support should spur intentions to engage if the individual believes that the collective act is an efficient means to bring about social change. In two experiments, manipulating social support, efficacy increased intentions to participate in collective actions but mainly for participants with low social support (Experiments 1 and 2). In Experiment 3, manipulating efficacy, high social support was related to decreased intentions to engage. However, in this study, social support did not interact with efficacy.
... 2. Masyarakat menyampaikan pesan politik kepada lembaga legislatif dan eksekutif misalnya melalui kegiatan menandatangani petisi. 3. Masyarakat mencalonkan diri untuk menjadi pejabat publik atau melibatkan diri dalam proses seleksi pejabat publik misalnya melalui kegiatan memberikan suara pada Pemilu (Back, et al. 2011). Pembelajaran PPKn akan menghasilkan output pembelajaran dalam aspek pengetahuan, sikap, dan keterampilan kewarganegaraan. ...
... 2. Masyarakat menyampaikan pesan politik kepada lembaga legislatif dan eksekutif misalnya melalui kegiatan menandatangani petisi. 3. Masyarakat mencalonkan diri untuk menjadi pejabat publik atau melibatkan diri dalam proses seleksi pejabat publik misalnya melalui kegiatan memberikan suara pada Pemilu (Back, et al, 2011 dalam sebuah negara demokrasi. Kenyataan tersebut sejalan dengan teori yang menyatakan bahwa bahwa unsur penting yang dapat mempengaruhi tinggi rendahnya tingkat partisipasi politik seseorang individu yakni aspek kesadaran (Surbakti. ...
... The social nature of protest participation Protest activities constitute a political category of their own, distinct from more conventional forms of engagement, such as party activity or voting (Bäck, Teorell, and Westholm 2011). They consist of a wide range of activities from signing online petitions and peaceful demonstrations, to violent riots, and seem to become more common as compared to the more conventional forms of political activities (Dalton 2017;Loader, Vromen, and Xenos 2014;Norris 2002;Putnam 2000). ...
... While these factors were outside of the scope of our endeavour, the results suggest that they should be attended to in more comprehensive mappings of predictors of participation in protest activities. Moreover, the quite modest explained variance is in line with research suggesting that collective incentives are still important for participation in protest activities (Bäck, Teorell, and Westholm 2011;Finkel, Muller, and Opp 1989). Part of what makes protest activities socially appealing is the freedom to custom-make the content, which makes them easier to 'sell' to particular crowds, but also allows for creating engagement for narrower causes that can speak more directly to people's specific political sympathies. ...
Article
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As institutional forms of political engagement continue to decline, participation in protests steadily become more common. These trends are particularly strong among younger citizens. Previous research indicates that social factors can explain participation in political protests, and that younger citizens' participation in protests is more affected by social ties than older people's participation. Even though the desire for social affiliation is a fundamental human need, there are individual differences in the need for belongingness. The aim of the current study is to investigate if part of younger people's higher level of participation in protests can be explained by individual-level differences in belongingness needs. More specifically, the study investigates whether a larger part of younger people's participation is explained by need to belong (NTB), as compared to older people's participation. In line with the hypothesis, results from a survey study of a representative sample of the Swedish population (N = 2034), show that only younger people's participation is predicted by individual-level belongingness needs; the higher the NTB among young people, the higher the tendency to protest, while this effect is absent among older people. These results have important implications for our understanding of participation in protest activities and youth mobilization. ARTICLE HISTORY
... Other variations have been produced from factor analysis. For example, Teorell and Torcal (2007: 344) produced a five-mode solution among European respondents: contacting, party activity, civic activity, protest activity, and consumerist participation, with the last two modes largely new at the time. 1 This solution or something close to it is widely used both as a conceptual tool for theorising about behaviour and an empirical solution to the problem of how acts cluster (see, for example, Bäck et al. 2011;Barnes et al. 1979;Copeland and Feezell 2017;Gil de Zúñiga et al. 2014;Parry et al. 1992;Teorell and Torcal 2007;Vráblíková 2016;Zukin et al. 2006). ...
Article
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Political participation opportunities have been expanding for years, most recently through digital tools. Social media platforms have become well integrated into civic and political participation. Using a cross-national sample from the United States, United Kingdom and France, this article examines whether acts of participation associated with social media should be classified using a traditional, five-factor solution to the structure of participatory acts. The distinction between online and offline participation is set aside, focusing instead on acts supported and enabled by social media, and in particular on differences between the use of Twitter and Facebook. The analysis shows that acts enabled by social media do not load with traditional factors in the structure of participation. Political acts employing Twitter and Facebook are distinct in the factor structure of participation.
... The benefits that citizens gain from voting are, thus, not only restricted to output-related gains which might result from a change in government policy, but they also entail expressive benefits (Fiorina 1976). In short, citizens may choose to participate in an election because they are able to express their political position (see also Bäck et al. 2011). ...
Article
How does the degree to which European citizens see themselves represented by political parties relate to their willingness to participate in an election? We argue that the closer citizens are to the parties running in an election in terms of the socio-economic left-right conflict and the European integration policy dimension, the more likely they participate in elections to the European Parliament. The analysis, which is based on the 2009 and 2014 European Election Studies datasets, indicates that the ideological left-right distance between citizens and parties mattered for participation in both EP elections under study. Moreover, the European integration dimension has become relevant for citizens’ turnout decision over the course of the European economic and sovereign debt crisis, but only in countries that are part of the Eurozone. These findings have implications for the nature of European elections and representative democracy on the European level, and indicate that missing policy responsiveness can lead to lower voter turnout.
... Faz ainda sentido considerar no âmbito deste estudo comparativo, por um lado, a existência de estímulos mobilizadores (Bäck et al., 2011), de natureza colectiva ou de índole selectiva, jogando-se os primeiros em torno da percepção/representação de influência efectiva sobre um resultado eleitoral ou iniciativa política como possível e (decorrente da participação, provável), e os segundos ao nível da representação da participação enquanto cumprimento de um sentido de dever, resposta a circunstâncias como o grau de satisfação com a própria vida em termos emocionais, de desempenho pessoal e profissional, ou de rendimento, e necessidade de expressão individual. Em paralelo, considera-se igualmente relevante aquilatar dos recursos mobilizáveis (Teorell et al., 2007), desde aqueles em torno do conhecimento/literacia de carácter político, passando pela disponibilidade de meios economico-financeiros que permitam essa participação, ou a disponibilidade de acesso a meios tecnológicos e respectiva literacia de apropriação e uso. ...
Article
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As mais recentes tecnologias de produção, transmissão e acesso a informação tornaram possível, na presença das condições adequadas, alterar a visibilidade de algumas preocupações nacionais e internacionais, bem como dos movimentos sociais que muitas ajudaram a espoletar. Países mais ou menos democráticos, mais ou menos autoritários, têm sido colocados perante uma multiplicidade de protestos que, articulados online, ultrapassam as barreiras do mundo virtual e (re)assumem presença nas ruas. Neste artigo, a partir de vários exemplos com diferentes bases de reivindicação, abordar-se-á o papel desempenhado pelas redes sociais virtuais nestas formas de participação política da sociedade civil à luz do seu contexto respectivo, ou seja, considerando igualmente o papel dos Meios Tradicionais de Comunicação e o dos fossos no acesso e utilização de meios digitais.
... When operationalizing these behaviors, most studies (e.g. Bäck, Teorell, & Westholm, 2011) rely on the framework established by the seminal work of Verba & Nie (1972). The authors distinguished three forms in addition to voting ('modes' in the original language): campaign activity, citizen-initiated contact, and cooperative participation. ...
Thesis
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Why do some people choose to engage in politics while others opt out? My core thesis is that two features of contemporary politics have a detrimental impact on participation in the electorate. The first of these two features is the discrepancy between the political agenda of the individual (what issues they consider important) and that of the political ruling class. The second stems from work suggesting that the conservative-liberal dimension represents the structure behind the issue stances of the political elite well; but that the same is not quite true for the general population (e.g. Carmines, Ensley, and Wagner 2011). Misrepresented citizens – whose views don’t align with the conservative-liberal dimension – are more likely to turn away from politics to the detriment of the process of democratic representation. I tested my hypotheses in models of increasing complexity using four preexisting datasets (generally including more representative data and boasting a larger N, providing 20 multivariate models in total) as well as three compiled exclusively for purposes of this dissertation – adding 9 models and a set of highly relevant variables at the cost of representativeness. The positive role of agenda congruence in predicting participation is not supported by empirical findings, although further analysis of sample characteristics calls into question the validity of this result and points to an interesting direction for future research. The relationship between ideological congruence and ‘traditional’ means of political engagement (encompassing a range of activities from campaign contributions through contacting officials to participation in boycotts and active support of NGOs) is robust, although ideological congruence appears unrelated to voting and online participation. These results call for the introduction of ideological incongruence into public as well as scholarly discourse, especially with respect to its negative ramifications regarding political participation and representation. Advisor: John R. Hibbing
... Faz ainda sentido considerar no âmbito deste estudo comparativo, por um lado, a existência de estímulos mobilizadores (Bäck et al., 2011), de natureza colectiva ou de índole selectiva, jogando-se os primeiros em torno da percepção/representação de influência efectiva sobre um resultado eleitoral ou iniciativa política como possível e (decorrente da participação, provável), e os segundos ao nível da representação da participação enquanto cumprimento de um sentido de dever, resposta a circunstâncias como o grau de satisfação com a própria vida em termos emocionais, de desempenho pessoal e profissional, ou de rendimento, e necessidade de expressão individual. Em paralelo, considera-se igualmente relevante aquilatar dos recursos mobilizáveis (Teorell et al., 2007), desde aqueles em torno do conhecimento/literacia de carácter político, passando pela disponibilidade de meios economico-financeiros que permitam essa participação, ou a disponibilidade de acesso a meios tecnológicos e respectiva literacia de apropriação e uso. ...
Article
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The latest technologies of production, transmission and access to information have made it possible, in the presence of the appropriate conditions, to change the visibility of some national and international concerns, and the social movements that many have helped to stimulate. More or less democratic countries, more or less authoritarian, have been placed before a multiplicity of protests that, articulated online, surpass the barriers of the virtual world and (re) assume presence in the streets. In this article, drawing from several examples with different claim bases, we address the role played by virtual social networks in these forms of political participation organized by the civil society. However, as it happens in só many initiatives in this field, this is not affirmed from an underestimation of the role of Traditional Means of Communication or that of the trenches in the access and use of digital means.
... Farhågan att göra medborgare besvikna bekräftas av forskning -experimentella studier har visat att beslutsfattande som innebär att utomstående konsulteras och lämnar synpunkter som sedan ignoreras betraktas som mer orättvist än beslutsfattande som sker helt utan konsultation av utomstående (Hibbing och Theiss-Morse 2002). Vidare visar studier att personer som upplever att offentliga institutioner är öppna för påverkan utifrån är mer villiga att delta i demokratin (Bäck et al. 2011). ...
Research
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Den här rapporten redovisar resultat från följeforskning som Swedesd vid Uppsala universitet har bedrivit kring Sveriges Kommuner och Landstings (SKL:s) projekt att utveckla metoder för att hantera och förebygga konflikter i komplexa frågor genom medborgardialog. SKL:s projekt har pågått mellan 2015 och 2018 i ett nätverk med tio kommuner: Burlöv, Enköping, Fagersta, Linköping, Ljusnarsberg, Sollentuna, Stockholm (stadsdelen Enskede-Årsta-Vantör), Svenljunga, Uppsala och Östhammar. Stadsdelen Västra Hisingen i Göteborg ingick inte ursprungligen i projektet, men har genomfört ett arbete som liknar övriga kommuners och beaktas därför också i rapporten. Exempel på komplexa frågor som kommunerna har arbetat med är avvägningar mellan olika värden i fysisk planering, integration och skolnedläggningar. Med avstamp i SKL:s målsättning för projektet är rapporten övergripande frågeställning följande: • Hur kan medborgardialoger hantera konflikter om komplexa frågor på ett legitimt sätt?
... In the former Soviet Union, where the channel for political participation was fairly limited, it was a rational political behavior for people to occasionally contact governmental agencies in an "approved way" to influence political implementation in "individual cases" (DiFranceisco & Gitelman, 1984, p. 619). In such cases, Back, Teorell, and Westholm (2011) argued that the benefits or outcomes of contacting accrued only to those who participated and therefore brought no contribution to the public good, limiting the likely benefits of the canonical mode of political participation. ...
Article
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This study investigates how individuals participate in different modes of political participation via social networking sites (SNS) in China, where channels for participation are restricted and the online information flow is censored. A survey conducted at two large universities in southern China revealed that information exchange uses of SNS and SNS-based political activities were positively associated with the canonical mode of political participation-that is, contacting media and joining petitions and demonstrations. SNS-based political activities also positively predicted political engagement via private contacts, such as lobbying acquaintances of governmental officials, and facilitated political actions initiated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Affiliation with the CCP was found to be a significant predictor of the contacting-lobbying mode of participation and CCP-initiated political activities.
... We, therefore, seek to empirically investigate and evaluate two theoretical dimensional structures: (i) one in which DNP is independent from lifestyle and every other mode, and (ii) one where DNP is part of an individualized mode of participation together with lifestyle politics. We expect that the rest of the forms of participation measured in our study will cluster in similar ways as in previous studies-that is, into institutionalized participation, protest, and volunteering (Bäck, Teorell, & Westholm, 2011;Barnes et al., 1979;Copeland & Feezell, 2017;Dalton, 2002;Gil de Zúñiga et al., 2013;Harris & Gillion, 2010;Parry, Moyser, & Day, 1992;Teorell, Torcal, & Montero, 2007;Theocharis & van Deth, 2018a;Verba & Nie, 1972;Zukin, Keeter, Andolina, Jenkins, & Delli Carpini, 2006-though, of course, not all of these studies have used these exact labels). Even though we have two theoretical ideas about the structure of political participation and the place of DNP and lifestyle politics in it, we first subject all items to exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to obtain a general overview. ...
Article
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Political participation has seen substantial changes in terms of both its structure and its scope. One of the most prominent venues of citizen engagement today is participation that relies on online means. Several approaches to online participation have attempted to understand its nature as a continuation of offline acts into the online realm, or as an independent form. In this article, we determine the place of online participation in the repertoire of political participation with greater precision. We ask whether, in particular, digitally networked participation (DNP) is an expansion of lifestyle politics, or whether there are empirical grounds to classify it as a new, independent mode of participation. We study a large variety of participatory activities using data from an online survey conducted among 2,114 politically active individuals in Belgium in 2017. We use an innovative measurement approach that combines closed-with open-ended questions, which allows us to explore new forms of participation that have previously not been considered or measured. Our results show that DNP is a core part of today's activists' repertoire and a distinct mode of political participation that is clearly attractive to younger, critical citizens.
... The collective incentives model focuses on that people over-estimate their own contribution's effect on the outcome. The other model is the selective incentives model, which revolves around the idea that there are benefits that accrue to those who participate regardless of the outcome (Bäck, Teorell, & Westholm, 2011). These selective incentives often revolve around social factors (e.g. ...
Article
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Spectator violence is an issue that affects many football matches in Sweden and other countries. Different models have tried to explain why individuals participate in sports fandom and associated behaviors. However, often these models ignore social and individual factors that may impact if and why individuals participate in spectator violence. Outgroup violence can be motivated by pro-social concerns for ingroup acceptance. We argue that outgroup violence among football supporters may be used as a marker of ingroup loyalty and attachment. A survey of 350 male Swedish football supporters was conducted to assess their levels of need to belong, rejection sensitivity, and willingness to engage in violence. A hierarchal regression analysis showed a significant interaction, such that individuals with a high need to belong and who are sensitive to rejection are more willing to engage in violence against an opposing team. The results provide important insights into the social dynamics of intergroup violence and spectator violence. We extend upon existing theory by adding this social personality perspective to show the importance of individual differences in belongingness needs as a driver for participation in spectator violence.
... However, the data at hand do not permit such analyses, as there are too few respondents representing the less populated categories of the relevant geographical units (municipalities and regions). 4. Participation in civil society even seems to be higher in Sweden than in other countries known for high social capital, such as Denmark and the Netherlands (Pichler & Wallace, 2007). 5. Its panel component has been used in several research articles but for other purposes than the present one (see, e.g., Adman, 2008;Bäck, Teorell, & Westholm, 2011). 6. ...
Article
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For some time been it has been hypothesized that involvement in civic associations creates generalized social trust. Yet, prior panel data studies, based mainly on data collected in Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have found little support for the existence of such an effect. This article adds further empirical knowledge, focusing on Sweden. The evidence presented here is the first to provide support for the hypothesis using a survey that allows panel data models. In the conclusions, it is discussed whether the differing findings may depend on Sweden being a particularly favourable environment, considering its comparatively democratic and prosperous associational life; or if the reason is that the data at hand do not allow using exactly the same panel models as in some of the prior studies.
... The rational choice model supplements the socioeconomic status model to some extent. The rational choice model stresses that individuals have the motivation to participate in governance activities only as long as the gains resulting from individual political participation exceed the costs (44). Based on this, Chytil et al. (45) described human behavior toward health preservation, and further pointed that passive consumerism care should be excluded from the perspective of rational choice. ...
Article
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High-level willingness to participate in WHPPs (Workplace Health Promotion Programs) can not only benefit employers and employees, but also can produce many positive social effects. In order to expand the existing body of research, the effects of subject cognition, interpersonal trust, political trust, and occupational safety and health concerns were explored. We surveyed 680 Chinese migrant workers who were in charge of participation decisions in their households (2,500 residents involved) from the three typical provinces. The association of social-economic determinants with the willingness to participate and the participating behavior was studied by logistic regression analysis. We find that almost all of workers show relatively high levels of willingness to participate, while nearly seventy percent of the migrant workers had not engaged in actual participation behavior. Regression analyses revealed that subject cognition, interpersonal trust, political trust, and concern for occupational safety and health were factors significantly influencing participating subjects' willingness to engage in WHPPs. Furthermore, mediation analyses demonstrated that the influence of subject cognition was partially mediated by political trust. The influence of subject cognition was partially mediated by political trust. We discuss why political trust may impact the influence of subject cognition on the willingness to participate. Our results provided important insights for both academic and practical application.
... The fifth incentive is normative incentives which forces individuals to comply with social norms and the perceived opinions of significant people whose opinions they respect and value. The pressure they receive forces them to win the respect or approval from their circles; for example having a family tradition of becoming activists, or influenced by educational institution, religious institution and peers (Back, Teorell, & Westholm, 2011). Individuals are also motivated by altruistic incentives where they have an emotional attachment to the party that has little to do with the policy positions which the party espouses; and they contribute to the party without considering the costs and benefits of their actions (Young & Cross, 2002). ...
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Whilst the recent electoral performance of Parti Islam seMalaysia (PAS) and Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu (UMNO) in Terengganu has generated much interest, there are lack of studies over the involvement and motivations of the most committed party players; the grassroots party activists. PAS and UMNO are strongly supported by committed and extraordinary party members at the grassroots level who devote their time, money, effort, and energy to ensure the party they support wins elections and remains relevant. Unlike other professions, they are working for the party on a full-time basis yet receive no specific income from the party. Their uniqueness has directed this study to examine the factors which influence them to become political party activists. This study interviewed thirty-two party activists who were selected using the purposive sampling technique, and the data was then thematically analyzed through the content analysis method. Combining the Civic Voluntarism Model and the General Incentives Model into a framework to understand factors that motivate informants’ political party activism. This study discovered five major factors which include the ideology of the party, religious beliefs, defending ethnic supremacy, parental influence, significant political events and educational institutions. This study also academically defies the common perception that party activists enjoy material rewards by virtue of their party activism.
... 42 Ovde je naglasak na neinstrumentalnoj dobiti od učestvovanja u društvenom događaju izbora. Ne na onompsihološkim zadovoljstvimakoje donosi sam čin glasanja bez obzira na uticaj na rezultat izbora, što spada u D, nego na dobit od socijalne interakcije koja dolazi od participacije u izbornom spektaklu (Tullock 1971;Bäck et al. 2011). To nema veze sa osećanjem dužnosti, čak ni sa samim činom glasanja. ...
... These models focus mainly on micro-and macro-level factors. Micro-level studies revolve around three main models: (1) the resources model, which emphasizes the role of socio-economic status and inequalities in participation (Brady, Verba, and Schlozman 1995); (2) the socio-psychological model, which stresses the role of attitudes that favour participation; and (3) the rational choice model that highlights individual motivations behind participation (Olson 1965;Whiteley 1995;Bäck, Teorell, and Westholm 2011). Macro-level studies have partly looked at the political opportunity structure of participation (e.g. ...
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This paper looks at the mobilizing effect of personal networks on the individual propensity to favour some types of political participation over others, in a context of changing participation repertoires. We rely on original egocentric network data gathered via a unique online survey conducted among a quota sample of 2801 Belgian citizens. We show that dominant political behaviour(s) in a network diffuse as byproduct of social proximity and influence: the more someone has been exposed to a certain type of participation in the past, the more this person is likely to be recruited in the same type of participation in the future (engagement), or, if this person was already active, to retain the same participatory behaviour (retention). Moreover, our results point to a cross-over dissuasive effect across types of participation that keeps citizens away from certain participatory behaviours. In particular, exposure to online and instiutionalized participation in their personal network decreases respondents’ likelihood to engage in non-insitutionalized participation. Overall, we stress the added-value of a meso-level approach that embeds citizens in their personal network to understand their participatory choices.
... The collective action literature has highlighted a number of social incentives that may drive individuals to become politically active (H. Bäck et al., 2011;Olson, 1965). For example, when an individual engages with a political movement it provides them with a place to express their social identity and a sense of belonging (E. ...
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This paper explored how the source of exclusion (ingroup/outgroup) influences ingroup identification and political engagement. It is well documented that social exclusion has a negative impact on individuals' well‐being, but less is known how it affects identification with the ingroup, and subsequent behavior. In two studies, one survey (N = 193) and one experiment (N = 384), we explore how exclusion in the context of Brexit impacts identification with the EU and Remain cause and in turn engagement with a pro‐EU group. Participants sympathetic to the Remain‐side were recruited and findings suggest that exclusion from the outgroup (Leave‐sympathizers) increases ingroup identity measures and engagement with a Pro‐EU group. Mediation analysis revealed that increased ingroup identity mediated engagement with the ingroup.
... The theory suggests that political participation is based on people's consideration of costs and benefits (Aldrich 1993;Downs 1957;Feddersen and Pesendorfer 1996;Palfrey and Rosenthal 1985). Political participation is costly, because it demands time and effort, and sometimes incurs financial expense (Bäck et al. 2011). It also can be beneficial, because an individual may derive personal benefits from a certain political outcome. ...
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The present article aimed at exploring the effect of corruption perception on political participation and the moderating role of life satisfaction on this relationship. To accomplish these objectives, we collected both survey and experimental data. In Study 1, corruption perception, life satisfaction, and political participation were all measured using self-report scales. The results indicated that corruption perception was negatively associated with political participation, and that life satisfaction moderated the relationship between corruption perception and political participation. In Study 2, corruption perception was manipulated by placing respondents in either a high-corruption or a low-corruption condition with subliminal priming. Compared with the high-corruption condition, the respondents primed by the low-corruption condition reported greater political participation. Furthermore, corruption perception hampered political participation only when life satisfaction was low. The results of the two studies confirmed that corruption perception attenuated political participation and that life satisfaction served as an appraisal buffer to alleviate this effect. The implications of the findings are discussed.
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
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This photo essay comments on the influence of artactivism in the process of the ‘social’. Moving away from the conventionality of social approach to betterment, the approach follows an artistic take, amalgamating new forms of media with the processes of design and art.
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
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Politiskt deltagande är kostsamt. Det kräver tid och engagemang från den enskilde medborgarens sida. Samtidigt är utfallet en kollektiv vara, det vill säga något som kan vara till gagn även för den som inte själv bidragit till att få det till stånd. Med tanke på den låga sannolikheten för att den enskildes insats skall avgöra hur det går borde den rationelle medborgaren således avstå från att engagera sig. Ändå vet vi att de allra flesta väljer att delta politiskt i åtminstone något avseende. Hur kan det komma sig? I litteraturen om rationellt handlande och politiskt deltagande går denna gåta under beteckningen deltagandeparadoxen – " the paradox of participation " (se Olson 1965). De förslag till lösningar som forskningen hittills formulerat kan indelas i två huvudtyper. Den ena bygger på förmodandet att medborgaren trots allt anser sig ha mer än försumbara möjligheter att påverka utfallet, det vill säga att det finns tillräckliga kollektiva incitament för att delta. Den andra går istället ut på att medborgaren motiveras av så kallade selektiva incitament, det vill säga fördelar som bara den som deltar kan tillgodogöra sig och som inte är beroende av hur den politiska striden utfaller. En viktig uppgift för deltagandeforskningen blir därmed att pröva den empiriska hållbarheten hos dessa förslag. Vissa försök i den riktningen har redan gjorts. Resultaten är dock knappast entydiga. I samband med studier av partiaktivitet i Storbritannien konstaterades exempelvis att både kollektiva och selektiva incitament bidrar till att förklara det politiska deltagandets variationer (se Whiteley m fl. 1994; Whiteley 1995; Whiteley & Seyd 1996). I en undersökning av protestaktivitet i Tyskland fann man däremot att kollektiva incitament var av stor betydelse medan selektiva incitament hade betydligt lägre förklaringskraft (Finkel & Muller 1998). En av flera möjliga orsaker till att dessa undersökningar kommit till delvis olika resultat är att motivbilden kan tänkas variera beroende på vilken deltagandeform det är fråga om. I detta kapitel jämför vi olika förklaringsmodellers prediktionsförmåga tvärs tre olika former av politiskt deltagande: partiaktivitet, kontakter och manifestationer. 2 Är en och samma modell bäst på att förutsäga alla former av politiskt deltagande eller varierar modellernas förklaringskraft med del-tagandeformen? För att besvara denna fråga använder vi den panelundersökning som tillkom genom att 1997 års medborgarundersökning i början av 1999 följdes upp av en kortare enkät riktad till samma riksrepresentativa urval (se kapitel 1). Nästan alla tidigare studier av politiskt deltagande har baserats på tvärsnittsdata, vilket gör det
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Why do individuals join political parties, and why do some take a step further to stand as candidates for political parties in local elections? Especially in Sweden, in light of dwindling party membership – now half that of what they were in the early 1990s – and the difficulties some party organisations experience in filling their ballots with candidates, it is crucial to answer these questions. To give answers, we conducted a survey of local government officials in Sweden. The study is based on 169 survey responses from local councillors and three main findings are reported: First, the results do not support classical rational choice-assumptions that social status, career ambitions and material rewards drive participation in political parties and local government. Rather, a sense of civic duty seems to have a strong impact. Second, the importance of recruitment cannot be exaggerated if we want to understand why people join parties: many respondents cited their recruitment as a main factor that spurred their participation. Third, given these two findings, our results indicate that active local party members could be described as ‘reluctantly active altruists’, i.e. driven by civic duty (not by social status, career ambitions or material rewards) and are recruited by others (rather than by own initiative).
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
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Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States. * Demonstrates the importance of undervalued topics in the study of social movement outcomes, offering a fresh look at the study of the consequences of social movements * Offers new methodological approaches to the study of the consequences of social movements * Provides fresh materials about the study of the consequences of social movements in different historical, political, social, cultural, and geographical contexts
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
Article
This study examines recent developments and variations in extra-parliamentary activities – such as signing petitions, displaying political support, demonstrating, and boycotting products across 15 European countries. Using fixed effects regression analysis to investigate data from the European Social Survey, rounds 1–8 (2002–2016), we find that patterns of participation have significantly changed over time. We draw on theories on how participation is fundamentally motivated by feelings of dissatisfaction, including grievance theory and the civic voluntary model. Our study’s results include two findings of particular significance. First, in the aftermath of the economic crisis of 2008, there was a perceptible increase in protest participation, but with a striking delay effect. Second, we identified an engagement gap as we show that in times of crisis the gap between satisfied and dissatisfied citizens widens, in terms of who actively participates. Further to these findings, we conclude that James C. Davies’ J-curve hypothesis concerning collective revolutionary response, needs revision, and we posit a synthesis of critical and more optimistic perspectives regarding the democratic impact that crises can have on our democratic participation.
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
Article
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Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
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Sociopsychological theorizing and research on collective action (e.g., social protests) has mushroomed over the last decade, studying a wide variety of groups, contexts, and cultures. Through a quantitative research synthesis of four motivations for collective action (1,235 effects from 403 samples; total N = 123,707), we summarize and synthesize this body of research into the dual chamber model, a comprehensive and potentially cross-cultural model of collective action. We aim to replicate previous meta-analytic conclusions (about identity, injustice, and efficacy) and break new theoretical ground by (a) integrating a fourth motivation (morality) into the very heart of the psychology of collective action, (b) extending these four motivations to advantaged group members acting in solidarity with the disadvantaged, and (c) integrating theoretically relevant structural (i.e., cultural and other contextual) constraints. Results substantiated the dual chamber model as all four motivations yielded unique, positive, medium-sized effects and interrelationships were positive (particularly among morality and identity, conceptualized as the dual chambers of the protester's beating heart). Meta-analytic structural equation modeling supported the added value of including morality. Moreover, findings confirmed that the strongest specific motivations were emotional injustice and politicized identification, while newly adding moral conviction to that list. Finally, the four motivations extended to advantaged group members acting in solidarity with the disadvantaged, while only the identity motivation was constrained by theoretically relevant cultural dimensions and values (e.g., collectivism and hierarchy). We discuss the implications and limitations of the dual chamber model for integrative theorizing, innovative research, and the practice of collective action. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
Poor health is generally believed to cause political passivity. Prior studies that satisfactorily acknowledge the causality problems involved are mainly limited to considering turnout and the U.S.A., so we lack knowledge of how non-electoral participation is affected in other countries. This article considers Sweden, characterized by a generous welfare state and an extensive public health system. Using unique panel data, which allow more thorough analyses of causality, poor health was found to have a negative effect on voting but not on non-electoral participation. By primarily focusing on other countries than Sweden and the U.S.A., it is a task for future longitudinal research to show whether the belief that poor health lead to political passivity is incorrect—or whether Sweden is an exceptional case, due to the barriers to participation being particularly low there.
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A growing body of literature examines the relationship between personality traits and personal values, on the one hand, and citizens’ social and political behavior on the other. Yet, group participation as a specific kind of civic engagement has been somewhat neglected and studies including both traits and values as predictors of associational involvement are even scarcer. This thesis attempts to fill this gap by uncovering the effects of the “Big Five” (Goldberg 1981) and four basic human values (Schwartz 1992) on personal involvement in various forms of social and political groups (e.g. social clubs, humanitarian or charitable organizations, social movement organizations, political parties). The central argument is that traits may help enable people to participate by providing them with basic psychological skills valuable for group-based civic activities, while values might provide the reasons for such a personal involvement, and thus motivate citizens to participate. Using recent survey data from the GESIS Panel (Germany), it will be demonstrated that personality traits are somewhat better predictors of the overall group participation probability, whatever the group considered, whereas personal values are better predictors of specific forms of engagement – different value priorities leading to participation in different kinds of associations, depending on the degree of compatibility between one’s own values and the goals the association strives for. Together, these results demonstrate the importance of taking into account individuals’ core dispositions and goals when studying civic participation. They also give further evidence regarding the way traits and values might differently regulate behavior, suggesting that, in line with a complementary view of the two constructs, neither is reducible to the other (Winter et al. 1998). Finally, this thesis sheds further light on both the similarities and differences between participants of different groups, an aspect which has been somewhat understudied in the literature.
Article
Why do citizens join German parties? Do specific attributes and abilities play a determinant role in participation in political parties? The German Party Membership Study of 2009 enables us to answer these questions. On the basis of the telephone survey, we will address these issues by way of a systematic comparison of current party members with fellow citizens who never joined a party. For the purpose of analysing the individual-level determinants of joining a party, we use fundamental explanatory approaches to political participation: The socioeconomic standard model, the social-psychological approach, and the general incentives model. The results of our analyses clearly show that social-psychological attributes best explain the decision to join a party. Nevertheless, the findings for the determinants in both the socioeconomic standard model and the general incentives model complete the picture of citizens who are party members.
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This study addresses the conditions for the participation in protest activities. Starting from social psychological value expectancy theory and the theory of collective action, we study the effects of political discontent, perceived political influence (efficacy), norms to participate, identity, and membership in protest encouraging networks (“social incentives”) on protest. This study challenges the common assumption that these factors have additive effects only and provides a detailed analysis of interaction effects. Another contribution is the theoretical derivation of interaction effects. Our empirical analyses refer to the protests in Leipzig (East Germany) in 1989 under communist rule. Two‐way interactions are found between the following pairs of variables: discontent, influence, and norms. “Identity” (i.e., identification with West Germany) only interacts with discontent. Furthermore, identification is a surrogate for discontent: If identification is strong, discontent no longer influences protest. If identification is weak, increasing discontent raises protest.
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
Chapter
Social movements have attracted much attention in recent years, both from scholars and among the wider public. This book examines the consequences of social movements, covering such issues as the impact of social movements on the life course of participants and the population in general, on political elites and markets, and on political parties and processes of social movement institutionalization. The volume makes a significant contribution to research on social movement outcomes in three ways: theoretically, by showing the importance of hitherto undervalued topics in the study of social movements outcomes; methodologically, by expanding the scientific boundaries of this research field through an interdisciplinary approach and new methods of analysis; and empirically, by providing new evidence about social movement outcomes from Europe and the United States.
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According to the rational choice model, the calculus of voting takes the form of the equation R = BP - C, where the net rewards for voting (R) are a function of the instrumental benefits from the preferred outcome compared to others (B) and the probability (P) of casting the decisive vote that secures these benefits, minus the costs of becoming informed and going to the polls (C). Here, we provide a systematic test of this model. The analysis relies on two surveys, conducted during the 1995 Quebec referendum and the 1996 British Columbia provincial election, in which very specific questions measured each element of the model. As well, this study incorporates two other factors that can affect the propensity to vote – respondents' level of political interest and their sense of duty. We find that B, P, and C each matter, but only among those with a relatively weak sense of duty. The feeling that one has a moral obligation to vote is the most powerful motivation to go to the polls. We conclude that the rational choice model is useful, but only in explaining behaviour at the margins of this important norm.
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Multiplicative interaction models are common in the quantitative political science literature. This is so for good reason. Institutional arguments frequently imply that the relationship between political inputs and outcomes varies depending on the institutional context. Models of strategic interaction typically produce conditional hypotheses as well. Although conditional hypotheses are ubiquitous in political science and multiplicative interaction models have been found to capture their intuition quite well, a survey of the top three political science journals from 1998 to 2002 suggests that the execution of these models is often flawed and inferential errors are common. We believe that considerable progress in our understanding of the political world can occur if scholars follow the simple checklist of dos and don'ts for using multiplicative interaction models presented in this article. Only 10% of the articles in our survey followed the checklist.
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Identifies specific network mechanisms at the individual level and illustrates how different social networks affect recruitment and individual participation in different voluntary organizations and social movement organizations. Socialization functions of social networks create an initial disposition to participate; structural-connection functions generate practical opportunities for involvement; decision-shaping functions affect the ultimate decision to take part. Empirical evidence comes from members of two political organizations active in the solidarity movement and the environmental movement in Switzerland, the Bern Declaration and WWF.
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Advocates of the theory of rational action are divided in regard to the version of the theory they accept. This paper distinguishes between a narrow version, claiming that the kinds of preferences and constraints to be used in explanations must be restricted, and a wide version imposing no such restrictions, and thus including beliefs, altruism, norms and social sanctions in explaining behavior. The paper begins by describing the major assumptions of both versions and then discusses the key arguments that are adduced in favor of a narrow and against a wide version: (1) preferences and beliefs cannot be measured; (2) the wide version is tautological, circular, empty or trivial; (3) predictions with the wide version are difficult; (4) the assumptions of the narrow version are sufficient to explain behavior; (5) when problems are encountered, the narrow version should only be applied to situations where it works. It is argued that those arguments do not provide an adequate defense, and thus suggest that the narrow version is inadequate. The last part of the paper offers some methodological considerations, suggesting how different types of assumptions can be combined.
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A basic problem for a rational choice theory of rebellious collective action is to explain why average citizens would participate in such behavior, since they have nothing to gain (they will receive benefits of successful rebellion, in terms of public goods, regardless of whether they take part or not), but much to lose (rebellious behavior may be quite costly). According to the conventional private interest or "by-product" theory, the incentive to participate must come from the expectation of receiving selective benefits; but since average citizens in a general case cannot expect substantial private material rewards, the relevant selective benefits must be psychological in nature. In contrast to the model of private interest theory, a public goods model is proposed, stipulating that the value of rebellion in terms of public goods can be a relevant incentive for participation. Using data from surveys conducted in New York City and Hamburg, West Germany, we investigate the relationship between participation in rebellious political behavior and measures of the incentives of public goods and private interest. The results do not support predictions of the private interest model in regard to nonmaterial selective incentives. Hypotheses of the public goods model are supported.
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We propose two models to explain why individuals participate in collective political action--a personal influence model and a collective rationality model. Each model overcomes the free-rider problem posed by conventional rational choice theory and left unresolved in previous research. The models are tested for legal and illegal protest behaviors, using data from a national sample and two samples of protest-prone communities in the Federal Republic of Germany. The personal influence model is supported for both forms of participation, while the collective rationality model is supported for legal protest. We discuss implications of the results for grievance and rational choice theories of collective political action.
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This paper evaluates rational choice models of political participation both at the theoretical and empirical levels. The theoretical discussion is con- cemed with evaluating attempts which have been made to circumvent the paradox of participation-the proposition introduced by Mancur Olson that rational actors will not get involved in collective action in order to achieve common goals. The analysis suggests that the paradox is more of an intrac- table problem for rational choice theory than is commonly recognized. The empirical section of the paper uses data from the first national survey of Conservative party members in Britain to model the determinants of political activism. It tests rational actor models against an alternative "general incen- tives" theory of participation which includes variables that are not consis- tent with rational choice theory The conclusion is that while a rational choice model gives great insights into political participation, it provides an in- complete account of participation, and by implication this may be true of such models in other areas of political science.
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Previous research has shown a strong relationship between party identification and participation in conventional political activities such as voting and campaign behavior. We extend these analyses by examining the effects of party identification and strength of identification on participation in both campaign activities and political protest. We hypothesize that party differences in these behaviors can be explained by the different levels of participatory incentives perceived by party identifiers and nonidentifiers. We specify a series of incentives derived from theories of collective action and measure them in a national and a Community probability sample in the Federal Republic of Germany. The results show that the bivariate relationships between party identification and political participation can be explained largely through their mutual relationship with participatory incentives such as policy dissatisfaction, belief in the moral justifiability of various forms of behavior, and willingness to conform to the behavioral expectations of important others. The effects of identification with all parties on participation are substantially reduced once the effects of the incentives are taken into account, and for protest participation, only identification with the Greens shows a nonnegligible net impact.
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Collective Action and the Civil Rights Movement is a theoretical study of the dynamics of public-spirited collective action as well as a substantial study of the American civil rights movement and the local and national politics that surrounded it. In this major historical application of rational choice theory to a social movement, Dennis Chong reexamines the problem of organizing collective action by focusing on the social, psychological, and moral incentives of political activism that are often neglected by rational choice theorists. Using game theoretic concepts as well as dynamic models, he explores how rational individuals decide to participate in social movements and how these individual decisions translate into collective outcomes. In addition to applying formal modeling to the puzzling and important social phenomenon of collective action, he offers persuasive insights into the political and psychological dynamics that provoke and sustain public activism. This remarkably accessible study demonstrates how the civil rights movement succeeded against difficult odds by mobilizing community resources, resisting powerful opposition, and winning concessions from the government.
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This is the first comprehensive critical evaluation of the use of rational choice theory in political science. Writing in an accessible and nontechnical style, Donald P. Green and Ian Shapiro assess rational choice theory where it is reputed to be most successful: the study of collective action, the behavior of political parties and politicians, and such phenomena as voting cycles and Prisoner's Dilemmas. In their hard-hitting critique, Green and Shapiro demonstrate that the much heralded achievements of rational choice theory are in fact deeply suspect and that fundamental rethinking is needed if rational choice theorists are to contribute to the understanding of politics. In their final chapters, they anticipate and respond to a variety of possible rational choice responses to their arguments, thereby initiating a dialogue that is bound to continue for some time.
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Much recent theorizing about the utility of voting concludes that voting is an irrational act in that it usually costs more to vote than one can expect to get in return. 1 This conclusion is doubtless disconcerting ideologically to democrats; but ideological embarrassment is not our interest here. Rather we are concerned with an apparent paradox in the theory. The writers who constructed these analyses were engaged in an endeavor to explain political behavior with a calculus of rational choice; yet they were led by their argument to the conclusion that voting, the fundamental political act, is typically irrational. We find this conflict between purpose and conclusion bizarre but not nearly so bizarre as a non-explanatory theory: The function of theory is to explain behavior and it is certainly no explanation to assign a sizeable part of politics to the mysterious and inexplicable world of the irrational. 2 This essay is, therefore, an effort to reinterpret the voting calculus so that it can fit comfortably into a rationalistic theory of political behavior. We describe a calculus of voting from which one infers that it is reasonable for those who vote to do so and also that it is equally reasonable for those who do not vote not to do so. Furthermore we present empirical evidence that citizens actually behave as if they employed this calculus. 3
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Social Capital is created through the patterns of interdependence and social interaction that occur within a population, and we attempt to understand the participatory consequences of these patterns relative to the effects of human capital and organizational involvement. The production of social capital in personal networks was examined with the use of social network and participation data from the 1992 American study of the Cross National Election project. The results suggest that politically relevant social capital (that is, social capital that facilitates political engagement) is generated in personal networks, that ir is a by-product of the social interactions with a citizen's discussants, and that increasing levels of politically relevant social capital enhance the likelihood that a citizen will be engaged in politics. Further, the production of politically relevant social capital is a function of the political expertise within an individual's network of relations, the frequency of political interaction within the network, and the size or extensiveness of the network. These results are sustained even while taking account of a person's individual characteristics and organizational involvement. Hence, the consequences of social relations within networks are not readily explained away on the basis of either human capital effects ol the effects of organizational engagement.
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For more than 40 years, rational choice theorists have noted that some voters may be expressively motivated. Their approaches generally have lacked a theoretical foundation with which such expressive motivation could be justified, and formalization typically has not gone beyond adding a non-instrumental utility term in a model of instrumental returns. I draw on social theory and anthropology to provide a microfoundation for expressive voting and propose an 'economy' of expressive incentives, seeking out equilibrium conditions. This approach generates predictions about voter choice and turnout that are consistent with empirical evidence of electoral behavior.
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Political participation has long been a puzzle for political science analysis. The logic of collective action suggests that activity to achieve collective goals is irrational; yet citizens are active. In this article, we approach the subject from the point of view of political activists, using survey data to consider their own interpretations of why they took part. The data show that participants recall many gratifications from their activity and that the patterns differ substantially across modes of participation. These rewards tend to be ‘political’ in that activists cite both civic gratifications and the desire to achieve collective goals more frequently than would be expected on the basis of rational choice approaches. The variations among acts with respect to the nature of the retrospective interpretations of the rewards they provide – in conjunction with open-ended responses about the issues behind activity – lend credence to respondents' accounts. The results call into question the applicability of narrow rational choice approaches to political activity.
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In common with most other mass democratic parties the Conservative party has a large group of active members who sustain the party over time. A model is developed to explain variations in activism within the party, which takes account of the ‘paradox of participation’. The results, based on the first national random sample survey of Conservative party members, show that activism is motivated by three classes of factors. Activism is motivated, firstly, by a variety of selective incentives, such as ambitions for elective office. It is motivated, secondly, by a desire for the party to achieve policy goals. These are ‘collective goods’, which are subject to the problem of free-riding. However, since activists can influence policy outcomes, via their contacts with party leaders, they have high levels of personal efficacy and a direct incentive to participate, which can override the paradox of participation. Finally, activism is motivated by expressive concerns, as measured by the strength of the respondent's partisanship, a motivation for involvement which lies outside a narrowly cast rational choice model of political participation.
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Causal inference in research testing rational choice models of unconventional political behavior has been hampered by the inability to use perceptions of the costs and benefits of participation at a given time to predict behavior that necessarily occurred in the past and by ambiguities associated with analyzing behavioral intentions instead of actual participation. Using panel data collected on a national sample in West Germany between 1987 and 1989, we show that variables from a "collective interest" model measured in 1987-individuals' dissatisfaction with the provision of collective goods, beliefs that group actions can be successful, and beliefs in the importance of their own participation-predict subsequent participation in collective protest activities. Variables corresponding to the private "selective incentives" associated with protest are found to be less relevant. Furthermore, we find that engaging in protest changes many of the perceptions that influence future participation. We discuss the implications for theories of political mobilization.
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Turning out to vote is the most common and important act of political participation in any democracy. Voting is also less well understood and explained empirically than other political acts engaged in regularly by citizens. Turnout, however, presents a special problem for rational choice theories of politics, for it is taken to be the paradigmatic example of the problem of collective action, in which, although all may benefit from voting, it is rarely in the individual's self-interest to vote. This paper begins by examining the problem of explaining turnout. A basic form of rational choice models of turnout is developed--basic in the sense that it is common to all such models. This basic model is shown to be incomplete, and the two most important models, the calculus of voting and the minimax regret model, are illustrated as alternative ways to complete this basic model, along with mention of game-theoretic models. Their strengths and weaknesses are then assessed. The remainder of the paper argues that rational choice accounts of turnout are possible. The first step is to argue that turnout is not an especially problematic version of the collective action problem because it is, for many, a low cost, low (expected) benefit decision. A "strategic politicians" account of turnout and campaigns is examined next. A reinterpretation of the intrinsic benefits of voting is then considered and is used to examine the most important substantive problem in the turnout literature, its decline. These steps, I argue, make theories of ordinary political decisions at once both more political and more integrated into the politics of the larger system.
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Much recent theorizing about the utility of voting concludes that voting is an irrational act in that it usually costs more to vote than one can expect to get in return. This conclusion is doubtless disconcerting ideologically to democrats; but ideological embarrassment is not our interest here. Rather we are concerned with an apparent paradox in the theory. The writers who constructed these analyses were engaged in an endeavor to explain political behavior with a calculus of rational choice; yet they were led by their argument to the conclusion that voting, the fundamental political act, is typically irrational. We find this conflict between purpose and conclusion bizarre but not nearly so bizarre as a non-explanatory theory: The function of theory is to explain behavior and it is certainly no explanation to assign a sizeable part of politics to the mysterious and inexplicable world of the irrational. This essay is, therefore, an effort to reinterpret the voting calculus so that it can fit comfortably into a rationalistic theory of political behavior. We describe a calculus of voting from which one infers that it is reasonable for those who vote to do so and also that it is equally reasonable for those who do not vote not to do so. Furthermore we present empirical evidence that citizens actually behave as if they employed this calculus.
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Examination of 1981-83 panel study of Swedish youths born in 1965 to determine the extent to which employment problems affect developing belief in the political process. Results show a clear relationship--one more complex than a simple reflection of self-interest. (PS)
Asserts that an integral part of public choice theory—the assumption that participants in political processes act rationally (i.e., act purposely to secure their individual ends)—is highly problematic for voters in large-number, majoritarian elections. It is argued that the logical connection between preferences over alternatives and observed choices, which is characteristic of individual behavior in the market, is not an a priori truth emerging from the basic proposition that agents are rational. The analogy of voting behavior with interest in spectator sports is used to explain voter irrationality and the individual nature of voting. (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This paper develops a resource model of political participation. The resources considered are time, money, and civic skills—those communications and organizational capacities that are essential to political activity. These skills are not only acquired early in life but developed in the nonpolitical institutional settings of adult life: the workplace, organizations, and churches and synagogues. These resources are distributed differentially among groups defined by socioeconomic status. A two-stage least squares analysis shows these resources have powerful effects on overall political activity, thus explaining why socioeconomic status has traditionally been so powerful in predicting participation. We disaggregate overall activity into three kinds of acts: those that involve giving time, those that entail donating money, and voting. Each requires a different configuration of resources resulting in different patterns of stratification across various political acts.
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The joint-stock company as an institution rests on two major principles. On the one hand, it embodies the logic of collective choice. The ultimate rights to power are vested in a constituency composed of the stockholders. The constituency elects a board which in turn appoints an executive. Decisions are usually taken by majority rule. In these respects, the joint-stock company resembles the democratic polity. On the other hand, it also includes important elements of market exchange. Unlike many other instances in which the logic of collective choice applies, the rights to power can be freely exchanged on a stock market. This paper examines the power implications of this combination of principles using illustrations drawn from the corporate world of Sweden. It argues that although there are similarities between the situation of stockholders and that of voters, the incentives to participate in the exercise of control are rather different. Whereas a model based solely on instrumental rationality is insufficient to explain the participation of voters, it does well in accounting for that of stockholders. Further, the prerequisites of the emergence and maintenance of participatory norms are favorable with respect to voters but unfavorable with regard to stockholders. The paper concludes by considering the implications of the results for the alleged autonomy of managers vis-à-vis the owners and by examining the importance of the exit mechanism as a means of power for minor stockholders.
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Social Capital is created through the patterns of interdependence andsocial interaction that occur within a population, and we attempt to understand the participatory consequences of these patterns relative to the effects of human capital and organizational involvement. The production of social capital in personal networks was examined with the use of social network and participation data from the 1992 American study of the Cross National Election Project. The results suggest that politically relevant social capital (that is, social capital that facilitates political engagement) is generated in personal networks, that it is a by-product of the social interactions with a citizen's discussants, and that increasing levels of politically relevant social capital enhance the likelihood that a citizen will be engaged in politics. Further, the production of politically relevant social capital is a function of the political expertise within an individual's network of relations, the frequency of political interaction within the network, and the size or extensiveness of the network. These results are sustained even while taking account of a person's individual characteristics and organizational involvement. Hence, the consequences of social relations within networks are not readily explained away on the basis of either human capital effects or the effects of organizational engagement.
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Democratic participation (conventional and unconventional methods of legal political activity in democracies) and aggressive participation (civil disobedience and political violence) are analytically distinct types of political behaviour. Previous explanatory models have assumed (usually implicitly) that these types of behaviour are uncorrelated. But an accumulation of recent research evidence shows them to be correlated expirically; therefore an important current priority of political participation research is development of integrated model to explain both types. Using 1974 survey data from the Federal Republic of Germany. a preliminary simultaneous-equation model is specified and tested.
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One of the few efforts to link systemic and organizational determinants of party strategies is provided by what John May dubbed the ‘law of curvilinear disparity’. According to this law, voters, party activists and leaders have necessarily divergent political ideologies. These systematic differences are attributable to the activists’ motivations and the constraints of party competition. This paper argues that the law is empirically valid only under distinctive behavioural, organizational and institutional conditions, which are not specified in its general formulation. Thus, the law is only a special case in a broader theory reconstructing the interaction between constituencies, intra-party politics and party competition. This alternative theory is partially tested with survey data from party activists in the Belgian ecology parties Agalev and Ecolo.
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The purpose of this paper is to test a rational actor model of political participation against rival models to see which provides the best theoretical account of participation. This is done using data from the first panel survey of Labour party members in Britain. The tests use encompassing methodology, an approach to model building which arises out of recent developments in applied econometrics. The rational choice model is tested against a social-psychological model, and a ‘general incentives’ model which has been utilized in earlier research to explain party activism. The results show that while the rational choice model has important explanatory power, it provides an incomplete account of participation. A ‘reduced form’ model is developed which encompasses the other models, and provides the best explanatory account of party activism.
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That organizational involvement has a positive impact on political action is a well-established finding in empirical research around the world. To account for this, theorists since Tocqueville have pointed to the returns in human capital, in particular ‘civic skills’, yielded by associations. This article, by contrast, is a study of whether social capital theory can help explain the same effect. According to the logic of ‘weak ties’, organizational involvement provides bridging social capital by connecting the individual to a wider range of people. As a result, the input of requests for participation increases and this ultimately leads to more activity. Unspecified in this argument, however, is what aspect of associational memberships is most conducive to such weak ties: the sheer number of memberships, or the extent to which one's memberships provide links to people of dissimilar social origin. In an unprecedented empirical test based on survey data from Sweden in 1997, it is shown that being connected to multiple voluntary associations is what matters for political activity, not the extent to which one's memberships cut across social cleavages. Moreover, the social capital mechanism of recruitment is more important in explaining this effect than the human capital mechanism of civic skills, since the former can account for why even passive members, not just organizational activists, may become more prone to take political action.
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When economists pay homage to the wisdom of the distant past (not the most common of professional exercises) it is more likely that a work two decades old is being admired than one two centuries old. Economics is a science , and the sciences are noteworthy for their digestion and assimilation of the work of previous generations. Contributions remain only as accretions to the accepted body of knowledge; the writings and the writers disappear almost without trace. A conspicuous exception to this rule of professional cannibalization is Adam Smith. Since 1776 he has not lacked for honors that have escaped even his most illustrious peers. Who, after all, wears a David Ricardo necktie? So to the author of The Wealth of Nations , all praise!
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