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Political and civic participation: Towards an integrative perspective

Barrett, M and Brunton-Smith, IR (2014) Political and civic participation: Towards an integrative perspective Journal of Civil Society, 10 (1). pp. 5-28.

Political and civic participation.pdf

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This article presents an overview of current understandings in the study of political and civic engagement and participation, drawing in particular on innovations which have emerged from the Processes Influencing Democratic Ownership and Participation (PIDOP) project. For the purposes of the article, 'engagement' is defined as having an interest in, paying attention to, or having knowledge, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, or feelings about either political or civic matters, whereas 'participation' is defined in terms of political and civic participatory behaviours. The different forms that political and civic engagement and participation can take are outlined, and the factors that are related to different patterns of engagement and participation are reviewed. These factors operate at different levels, and include distal macro contextual factors, demographic factors, proximal social factors, and endogenous psychological factors. An integrative model covering all four levels of factors is outlined. Some findings from the secondary analysis of existing data-sets (including the European Social Survey and the International Social Survey Programme) in the PIDOP project are also reported. These findings show that engagement and participation vary as a function of complex interactions between macro, demographic, and psychological factors. It is argued that multi-level integrative theories, such as the one proposed in the current article, are required to understand the drivers of political and civic engagement and participation, and that policies and interventions aimed at enhancing citizens' levels of engagement and participation need to take this multi-level complexity into account

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Barrett, M
Brunton-Smith, IR
Date : 1 March 2014
DOI : 10.1080/17448689.2013.871911
Additional Information : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Civil Society January 2014, available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 26 Aug 2014 16:34
Last Modified : 25 Jul 2016 13:54

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