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9. Conventional and Unconventional Political Participation

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Chapter Summary

The European Values Study (EVS) examines a 2008 snapshot of conventional and unconventional participation across the widely varying political and socio-economic landscape of Europe. The EVS data allow us to assess whether differences in political participation can be attributed to factors related to two distinct theoretical traditions that emphasize the importance of the national context; the first emphasizing the role of societal modernization and the second highlighting institutional features of societies; or to differences in the socio-economic composition of populations. This chapter addresses the following issues: (1) how do rates of conventional and unconventional participation vary between European countries; (2) to what extent can any variation be explained by macro-level differences in the context of countries rather than by differences in their population composition; and (3) to what extent are differences in the political-institutional context rather than in the level of modernization the most relevant macro-level differences explaining any variation.

Keywords: conventional political participation; European Values Study (EVS); societal modernization; unconventional political participation



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