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Processes Influencing Democratic Ownership and Participation

Final Report Summary - PIDOP (Processes Influencing Democratic Ownership and Participation)

Executive summary:

the PIDOP project investigated political and civic participation and engagement in nine European countries – Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Italy, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey. The research focused especially on participation by youth, women, minorities and migrants, four groups that have traditionally been viewed as being at risk of disengagement. The research involved: the analysis of EU, national, regional and NGO policies on political and civic participation by youth, women, minorities and migrants; the development of new political theories of participation; the development of new psychological theories of participation; the modelling of data from existing surveys on political and civic participation; the collection and analysis of new data on political and civic participation; the integration of political and psychological theories of participation; and the development of recommendations for policy, practice and intervention for enhancing levels of participation among youth, women, minorities and migrants.

project Context and Objectives:

the PIDOP project was a transnational research project funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme. It investigated political and civic participation and engagement in nine European countries – Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Italy, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey.

the terms 'political participation' and 'civic participation' had specific meanings within the context of the project. 'Political participation' was defined as 'activity that has the intent or effect of influencing either regional, national or supranational governance, either directly by affecting the making or implementation of public policy or indirectly by influencing the selection of individuals who make that policy' (definition adapted from Verba, Schlozman and Brady, 1995). Political participation can take a number of different forms, including both conventional forms which involve electoral processes (e.g. voting, election campaigning, etc.) and non-conventional forms which occur outside electoral processes (e.g. signing petitions, participating in political demonstrations, etc.).

project Results:

in order to achieve the goals of the project, the theoretical and empirical work was broken up into several strands, as follows:

1. The collation and analysis of current policies on participation
2. The development of political theories of participation
3. The development of psychological theories of participation
4. The modelling of existing survey data on political and civic participation
5. The collection and analysis of new data on political and civic participation
6. Theoretical integration
7. The development of recommendations for policy and practice

the research which was carried out under each of these various strands, and the principal findings that were obtained, were as follows.

1. The collation and analysis of current policies on participation

1.1 Methods
discourse analysis was used to analyse the official documents of public institutions and NGOs (e.g. white papers, green papers, policy briefs, reports, position papers, etc.) in order to identify the key concepts underlying policies on participation and the metanarratives which are used to justify these concepts. The time frame used for the selection of documents was 2004-2009.

in addition, semi-structured interviewing was used with policy makers and activists in all of the participating countries. These interviews examined the various stages of the policy cycle, with a focus on agenda setting by different institutional and non-institutional policy actors, exploring the importance of the power relations existing between the various policy actors, and their struggle to shape the meaning of specific policy concepts.

1.2 Findings
A set of core policy concepts, or Discursive Nodal Points (DNPs), was uncovered in the course of the analyses. As shown in Annex 1, DNPs are defined by a combination of factors, including the context, the policy priorities and the metanarratives that are used to construct these priorities. The research identified four DNPs being used at the European level, and a wide range of DNPs being used in different countries. The analyses compared these between the European, national and regional levels, and between institutional and non-institutional actors.

2. The development of political theories of participation
this second strand of the project audited existing theory and research on civic and political participation and engagement, particularly in the disciplines of Politics, Sociology and Social Policy, and developed political theories of political and civic participation based on macro-level contextual factors (i.e. political, electoral, historical, economic and societal factors). These theories were used to generate theoretical inputs to and research questions for investigation in the empirical strands of the project.

two important themes which emerged from this body of work were the need for greater conceptual clarity and the nature of political passivity.

2.1 The need for greater conceptual clarity
there are many definitions of participation, and although typologies of participation have become more sophisticated over recent years, this has been driven more by the emergence of new forms of participation or new measures than by theoretically grounded considerations. For this reason, the project developed a new theoretically driven typology of forms of participation. This typology (see Annex 2) aims to capture all forms of behaviour relevant to the study of civic and political participation. The typology considers participation on both the individual and collective levels, discriminates between latent and manifest forms of political behavior, and distinguishes between the civic and the political. The typology also incorporates a non-participation category, thereby capturing the full spectrum of participation, distinguishing between those who are apolitical and those who are antipolitical (which does not mean a lack of interest but extreme political dissatisfaction, active disengagement, and negative feelings about the political sphere). The apolitical category may be considered to be an unstable one. For example, some youth or some women may not participate or take an interest in politics, but this may change either over time or through new opportunities for participation as these become available. This typology highlights that fact that attitudes as well as behaviours must form part of any explanation of political participation.

2.2 The nature of political passivity
this typology has important implications for the interpretation of political passivity. For years, the focus of scholarly debate on political participation has been on declining levels of participation, engagement and trust, and this phenomenon has often been framed in a negative way. However, it is possible to contest the view that non-participation and non-participative citizens are a threat to democracy, and to challenge the idea that good citizenship is necessarily synonymous with active participation.

2.3 Contextual influences on participation
A major focus of this second strand of the project was a wide-ranging analysis of the macro contextual factors which influence political and civic participation. These macro influences on participation were analysed according to level: institutional, country and supranational.

2.3.1 Institutional level factors
A large number of institutional level factors impact on levels of participation. These factors include the political opportunity structure, structural inequalities, mobilising channels and civic education.

the following factors are the most important determinants of voter turnout:
- Compulsory voting, easier registration procedures, concurrent elections, and proportional representation electoral systems, all of which enhance levels of voter turnout
- Electoral closeness and campaign spending, both of which also enhance voter turnout
- Smaller population size and population stability, both of which enhance voter turnout

2.3.2 Country level factors
contextual factors at the country level such as political history and economic development may be considered with reference to differences between old and new democracies. For example, the importance that young people attribute to conventional citizenship is higher in countries in which conventional political institutions have been strengthened in the last 30 years and lower where there are longstanding democratic traditions (Torney-Purta, Lehmann, Oswald and Schulz, 2001).

the religion of a country can also impact on levels of participation, an effect which is most pronounced among women. In predominantly Catholic countries, women are less likely to exhibit political knowledge or interest. Protestant countries tend to have longer traditions of egalitarianism and support for women's rights with the result that women are more likely to be civically and politically engaged. It is noteworthy that the PIDOP project found evidence in Northern Ireland that perceptions of women's ability to bring about change were significantly lower in young Catholic women than in young Protestant women.

2.3.3 Supranational level factors
the supranational level lies beyond the country level, but the political opportunity structure can have an international dimension which may impact on national opportunity structures. There is undoubtedly potential for greater engagement and participation through European initiatives. However there would appear to be little political participation oriented towards the supranational level. That said, in the PIDOP project, variations in supranational attitudes were found between and within countries: for example, in Belgium, it was found that there were generally high levels of trust in the EU, but not in the case of minority Turkish youth who were more suspicious of the EU (possibly due to Turkey's difficult dealings with Europe over accession). This is indicative of how the international political opportunity structure can work differently for different groups within a single country, often in contradictory ways.

3. The development of psychological theories of participation
the third strand of the PIDOP project audited existing research on political and civic participation and engagement in the disciplines of Psychology, Political Science and Education. It also developed new psychological theories of participation which were used to generate theoretical inputs to and research questions for empirical investigation in the empirical strands of the project. A major focus of this third strand of the research was an analysis of the psychological and social factors which influence political and civic participation.

3.1 Psychological factors influencing participation
A wide range of psychological factors that influence political and civic participation was identified. These factors include cognitive factors such as knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, opinions and social and cultural values, all of which are linked to patterns of participation and engagement. Three specific cognitions of particular importance are political interest, political attentiveness and internal efficacy.

emotions also predict levels of civic and political participation and engagement. This includes both negative emotions (e.g. anger towards a perceived social injustice, feelings of discrimination, dissatisfaction with the status quo and the desire to contribute to social change, anxiety or fear about the consequences of action) and positive emotions (e.g. happiness, satisfaction with the consequences of past participation, institutional pride).

social identifications, which involve experiencing a sense of belonging to a social group (such as a community, a social or political movement, an ethnic group, a national group, etc.) are also linked to levels of participation. Social identifications entail adopting group norms concerning participation and they can also provide ingroup models for participatory behaviours, as well as a sense of social support for one's opinions and actions.

social trust, political trust (i.e. in politicians, political institutions and the political system as a whole) and external efficacy (i.e. the belief that politicians and political institutions are responsive to citizens' views) are also all related to various aspects of participation and engagement, as are personal motivations and goals (e.g. egoistic vs. prosocial/altruistic motivations and goals).

finally, people's perceptions of opportunities for, and barriers to, participation are also linked to their patterns of participation. As has been noted already, opportunities are provided by structures for participation such as associations and social networks, which need to be perceived as being open and accessible, while people can perceive barriers for a number of reasons, including their own limited economic resources, lack of time and poor education.

there are numerous observations which may be made about these various psychological factors. First, these factors do not operate independently of one another; instead, they interact with each other in complex ways. Individual factors sometimes moderate or amplify the effects of other factors, and sometimes their effects on participation are mediated by other psychological factors rather than being direct.

second, these various psychological factors may be classified into different dimensions. One such classification that was developed in the PIDOP project is shown in Annex 3. This classification proposes that there are eight such dimensions. Individual difference variables and sociodemographic characteristics (such as gender, age, status as immigrant, education, language, socio-economic situation, religiosity) are included (Box 1), as are individual and shared cognitions about the social world and participation (Box 2). Traditional accounts of political participation have also emphasised the role of motives and goals for participation (Box 3) and the role of emotions and affective factors (Box 4). The model also proposes that social identity and a sense of belonging have a central role to play (Box 5). Perceived control, efficacy and competences are also crucial determinants of participation (Box 6), as are the individual's perceptions of opportunities and barriers to participation (Box 7). Actual participation experiences (Box 8) are likely to provide an important learning experience, with their effects feeding back dynamically into the precursors of participation. If this account is correct, then participation needs to be analysed as a dynamic, circular process, where the consequences of participation can impact on the precursors of participation by modifying initial conditions.

3.2 Social factors influencing participation
this third strand of the project also identified the numerous proximal social factors that can influence political and civic engagement and participation. These factors may be classified as stemming from seven main sources: the family, education, the peer group, the workplace, the mass media, non-political organisations and political institutions.

family practices and discourses are a major influence on political and civic engagement and participation (Schulz, Ainley, Fraillon, Kerr and Losito, 2010; Zukin et al., 2006). For example, adolescents whose parents are interested in political and social issues have higher levels of interest in these issues themselves, as well as higher levels of civic knowledge, and individuals whose parents engage in civic volunteering have higher levels of civic and political participation, are more attentive to news about politics and government, and are more likely to engage in consumer activism.

4. The modelling of existing survey data on political and civic participation
this fourth strand of the PIDOP project was responsible for analysing existing survey data. The aim here was to identify empirically the factors which are driving civic and political participation within Europe. There were two main sub-goals here:
(i) to describe patterns of civic and political participation across EU member states over time and across key demographic groupings; and
(ii) to identify the factors which are related to the variations in these patterns of civic and political participation across EU member states.

4.1 Methods
in order to achieve these goals, data were drawn together from a number of international surveys that contain questions relating to participation: the European Social Survey, Eurobarometer, International Social Survey Programme, Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, and World Values Survey. In addition, indices of macro contextual factors for different countries were taken from two sources, the Country Indicators for Foreign Policy (CIFP, 2011) and the Economist Intelligence Unit (Kekic, 2007).

4.2 Findings
the descriptive analyses revealed that there was a great deal of variability in all four forms of participation, both within and across countries. However, some clear consistencies across countries were also uncovered. For example:
- Younger people aged under 25 and ethnic minority individuals are less likely to vote in all countries
- Younger people are also less likely to be involved in conventional activities in all countries
- Males are more likely to be involved in conventional forms of participation in all countries
in addition, in some but not all countries:
- Younger people and ethnic minority individuals are more likely to be involved in non-conventional forms of political activity
as far as civic engagement is concerned, there are differences between countries, but there is comparatively less variability within countries.

analysis of data collected since 1973 revealed consistently high intentions to vote each year (always above 90% of the sample). This is noticeably higher than the self-reported voting behaviour of individuals. It is also considerably higher than the actual levels of voter turnout in each country. This demonstrates a disconnection between voting intentions and actual behaviour.

the analyses also examined a range of psychological factors, including:
- Interest in politics
- Attentiveness to political issues and affairs, for example, on television, in newspapers, on the Internet, etc.
- Internal efficacy – the belief that one is able to understand politics and has the competence to participate in politics
- External efficacy – the belief that politicians and political institutions are responsive to citizens' views
- Opinionation – holding opinions about civic and political matters
- Ideological identity – whether one holds an extreme position on either the right or the left of the political spectrum or whether one holds a more moderate centrist position
- Social trust – how much one trusts other people in general
- Institutional trust – how much one trusts institutions such as the police, the legal system, politicians, parliament, etc.
- Perceived discrimination – the perception that one is discriminated against because of the group to which one belongs

A high degree of variability was found both within and between countries in these psychological factors. For example, levels of political interest and attentiveness vary widely across countries, from 20% of the population through to 65% depending on the country. However, overlaid on this variability are some consistent patterns. For example, attention to political broadcasts on television is always higher than attention to politics via other media sources, and there are lower levels of trust in politicians than in any other institution across all countries.

consistent and strong evidence was found that people who have high levels of interest in politics and high levels of internal efficacy show high levels of all four types of participation (i.e. voting, other forms of conventional political participation, non-conventional political participation, civic participation). Such people are also more likely to hold opinions (with this high level of opinionation further increasing both their involvement in non-conventional political activities and their level of civic engagement). In addition to being robust predictors of participation, it was discovered that political interest and internal efficacy are highly correlated with each other, so much so that in the statistical analyses it was impossible to separate out their effects.

for each of the four types of participation, a moderate influence of institutional trust was also found. However, this influence varies according to the type of participation involved. For example, individuals who have high levels of trust in institutions are more likely to vote, but are less likely to participate in other ways.

similarly, perceived discrimination has different effects on different forms of participation. For example, individuals who feel that they are discriminated against because of the group to which they belong are less likely to vote, but are more likely to participate in other ways

other differences in the drivers of each form of participation were also evident. For example, there is a greater tendency to vote and to be civically engaged among those who are more attentive to politics, but higher levels of attentiveness result in lower levels of non-conventional participation.

perceptions of the responsiveness of government and political institutions to citizens' views (i.e. levels of external efficacy) are also variably linked with forms of participation. For example, high perceived responsiveness increases the tendency to be involved in conventional and non-conventional activities, but shows no direct influence on voting behaviour.

in the analyses of macro contextual factors, it was found that, with the exception of voting, differences between countries in average levels of participation are indeed linked to differences in the political and legal institutions of those countries (i.e. in their macro contextual characteristics). In particular, the extent to which the government within a country is accountable, how well government functions, the extent to which the institutional structures within a country are democratic, and a country's record in relation to the rule of law, were all found to be important macro factors. Participation levels are higher in countries which have high scores on all of these institutional macro features.

in addition, institutional features were found to play a role in moderating the individual drivers of political participation. For example, the magnitude of differences in participation between males and females, and the magnitude of differences in levels of political interest and internal efficacy, are dependent on the institutional context in which individuals are situated, and vary significantly from country to country.

finally, the analyses revealed that citizens can be grouped into four distinct classes of people based on their overall pattern of participation:
- Those who are both politically and civically active – These individuals participate in all four ways to a high extent, and are more likely to be older, male, and not from an ethnic minority group.
- Those who are inactive both politically and civically – These individuals have a very low tendency to participate in all four ways, and are more likely to be younger, from ethnic minority groups, and are less likely to be male than those in the politically active group.
- Those who have high levels of both non-conventional and civic activity – These individuals are involved in non-conventional political activity and are civically engaged, but are less likely to vote or to be involved in conventional political activities. Compared to the politically and civically active group, this group is more likely to be young. Ethnic minority individuals are more likely to be in this third category than in the first category, but they are even more likely to be in the second, inactive, category above.
- Voting-only – These individuals are similar in demographic makeup to the politically and civically active group, but members are more likely to be female.

5. The collection and analysis of new data on political and civic participation
while the fourth strand of the project was responsible for the analysis of data from existing survey datasets, the fifth strand was responsible for collecting new data. The work here was specifically designed to target variables which were of theoretical importance but which were not present in the existing international survey datasets. The overall aim here was to examine civic and political participation and engagement among members of different age, gender, minority and migrant groups within each participating country, and to examine differences in the factors and processes which drive participation and engagement in these different demographic groups in the different national contexts.

5.1 Methods
to this end, each team in the consortium collected data from both their own local national group and from two ethnic minority or migrant groups living in their country. The national and ethnic groups which were studied in each country were as follows:
- Belgium: Belgians, Turks, Moroccans
- Czech Republic: Czechs, Roma, Ukrainians
- England: English, Congolese, Bangladeshis
- Germany: Germans, German resettlers from Russia, Turks
- Italy: Italians, Albanians, Moroccans
- Northern Ireland: Northern Irish Catholics, Northern Irish Protestants, Chinese, Polish
- Portugal: Portuguese, Brazilians, Angolans
- Sweden: Swedes, Kurds of Turkish background, Iraqis
- Turkey: Turks, Roma, Turkish resettlers from Bulgaria

in all of these groups, data were collected from two age groups, 16- to 17-year-olds and 18- to 26-year-olds. Comparisons between these two age groups allowed the research to examine differences in political and civic participation and engagement before vs. after achieving voting age. Both genders were represented in the samples, and the analyses explored how gender interacts with national, ethnic and/or migrant status in driving participation and engagement.

5.2 Findings of the focus groups
the focus groups yielded a large amount of very rich data. Here, there is only space to comment on some of the most prominent themes that emerged. It was readily apparent that many of the young people felt that they had no voice because they were not taken seriously by adults and because politicians were not genuinely interested in their issues. Although they did consider politics to be important, most youth had other interests, and were aware of their limited influence in politics. When asked whether they saw themselves as full-rights citizens, they often said that they did not have this status because of their age and also because they often did not have the competencies, the power and access to information, resources and opportunities. These last factors were especially prominent among minority and migrant youth. The most common conception of citizenship was a combination of legal, communitarian and moral visions of citizenship, including rights, responsibilities, belonging to a community, working, behaving decently and participating, with voting being viewed as the primary form of participation.

5.3 Findings of the interviews
the phase 2 interviews with influential others revealed some commonalities but also variations in accounts across the different categories of interviewees (mainly parents, teachers and youth workers). Almost unanimously, the individuals interviewed saw youth participation as an essential activity that young people ought to pursue because of the important consequences for society that can stem from their civic and political involvement. However, most of the interviewees believed that a distinguishing characteristic of young people was the tendency to neglect the fulfillment of the duties and responsibilities of 'good citizenship'.

5.4 Findings of the survey
turning to the findings of the quantitative survey, this revealed that the respondents engaged in a wide range of different forms of participation, including all of the following:
- Conventional political participation such as voting
- Non-conventional political participation such as demonstrations, distributing leaflets with political content, wearing symbols in support of a political cause
- Civic participation such as fundraising and volunteering
- Economic participation such as making purchasing decisions based on political, ethical or environmental reasons, and donating money to a social or political cause
- Participation through acts of civil disobedience such as writing political messages or graffiti on walls, and participating in political actions that might be considered illegal (e.g. burning flags, throwing stones, etc.)
- Participation through the Internet such as discussing social or political issues on the Internet, connecting to political or social groups on social networking sites, and participating in online boycotts or protests

although the respondents did engage in a wide range of different forms of participation, it was nevertheless found that, apart from voting in elections, the respondents tended to exhibit relatively low levels of political and civic participation overall. That said, they did not display a lack of either political interest or attentiveness to political issues, with moderate levels of both psychological factors being displayed.

the measures of the different forms of participation did not always statistically load together in the same way across countries or indeed across the three ethnic groups within any one country. For example, in the data from England, the measures of illegal forms of participation always loaded together (i.e. a person who was high on one form of illegal behaviour also tended to be high on other forms of illegal behaviour) and the measures of different forms of Internet participation also always loaded together. However, the remaining measures assessing other forms of conventional, non-conventional and civic participation showed different patterns and structures for each of the three ethnic groups. Caution therefore needs to be exercised in claiming that political and civic activity always falls into a few basic clear-cut categories such as conventional, non-conventional and civic participation. Instead, the survey revealed that there is variability in how patterns of political and civic participation are structured across different national and ethnic groups.

5.5 Highlights of the findings obtained in individual countries
this section reports some of the more specific findings obtained within each individual country.

5.5.1 Belgium
in Belgium, data were collected from Belgian, Turkish and Moroccan youth. Analyses comparing the three groups underlined the importance of taking into account the specificities of each individual ethnic group. For example, the Turkish and Moroccan youth displayed very different orientations towards Belgian culture and the culture of their own ethnic group. The Turkish youth exhibited a strong sense of solidarity with their own ethnic group. Education and formal qualifications were not so important for these youth because their intentions were to seek employment in the enterprises or businesses of a member of their family or their own community. They valued Turkish culture and traditions, and alliances between Turkish families, more than their religion. By contrast, the Moroccan youth aimed for a greater level of social and economic inclusion in Belgium. They tended to value their religion more than their country of origin. They also tended to invest more in education than the Turks, and had similar employment aspirations to the Belgian youth. They displayed bicultural identifications as both Belgian and Moroccan, and often already held Belgian nationality. However, when they were unable to build on their qualifications and remained unemployed, they exhibited a marked sense of injustice stemming from perceptions of discrimination. They were more heavily invested in the political field than the Turks, in particular in defence of their own community.

5.5.2 Czech Republic
in the Czech Republic, data were collected from Czech, Roma and Ukrainian youth. The survey data suggested that general evaluations of society (in terms of social cohesion and integration) stemmed from different sources in the different ethnic groups. For example, more positive evaluations of society were associated with a better personal economic position, a higher sense of community and a more positive ethnic identity in the Roma group. However, in majority Czech youth, more positive evaluations of society were instead related to greater institutional trust. Thus, youth from different ethnic backgrounds appeared to be using different criteria to evaluate society, criteria which probably stemmed from cultural differences (e.g. a greater emphasis on family and close personal ties in Roma culture) as well as differences in the everyday experiences of the group (e.g. the problematic status of Roma in Czech society).

the survey also revealed the importance of online civic participation for ethnic minority and migrant youth in particular. Online participation was a popular form of civic participation for all youth in the Czech Republic, regardless of ethnicity, but this form of participation was particularly attractive for minority and migrant youth for two main reasons: it helped to reduce the negative impact of the language barrier on immigrant youth participation, and it provided a 'safer' forum for civic participation for those who felt frustrated and disempowered in real-world civic activities due to the prejudice and discrimination which they frequently encountered in such contexts. This latter consideration applied particularly to Roma youth. It is noteworthy that those young Roma who participated in real-world activities were more sceptical about Czech society (and the chances of reducing ethnically-based discrimination) than those young Roma who only participated online.

5.5.3 England
in England, data were collected from English, Congolese and Bangladeshi youth. Many of the participants, from all ethnic backgrounds, believed that young people did not participate because they did not want to participate and were not interested in participating. The English youth tended to be more satisfied than the minority youth with the existing political system, and also tended to be more critical/sceptical than minority youth of non-conventional forms of participation. Some youth across all three ethnic groups reported that American hip hop music had been a source of influence on their attitudes towards participation, and for this reason, the lyrics of some of the cited artists (e.g. Jay-Z and Tupac) were analysed. It was found that these lyrics endorsed and encouraged a passive attitude towards the perceived inequalities of rights and opportunities in regard to race, social class and gender. The discouraging role of the mass media was also cited by many youth, due to their excessive focus on entertainment and their generally negative portrayal of both young people and ethnic minority individuals. In the case of minority youth, the mass media were perceived as discouraging young people from engaging in action not only in relationship to the UK but also in relationship to their country of origin. Finally, conspiracy theories (involving the Freemasons, Illuminati, etc.), which are currently prevalent in both Islamic and Christian fundamentalism, were found to further encourage distrust and disengagement from official political and social actors and to create a sense of helplessness among young people.

the survey revealed differences in the predictors of participation across the ethnic groups. However, social norms predicted different types of participation for all the groups. The importance of mobilisation by others was also very salient, but mobilisation was found to operate in different ways for different groups and for different forms of participation. Only in the case of the English youth, a lack of mobilisation was related to higher levels of online participation.

5.5.4 Germany
in Germany, data were collected from German and Turkish youth and from young German resettlers from Russia. There was considerable variation in participation levels depending on the intersection of ethnic group, gender and age, but the Turkish respondents were the most active overall. The predictors of participation also varied between the different ethnic groups. For example, social norms were only a powerful predictor among Turkish participants. This is probably due to the cultural specificities of Turkish youth: Turkish migrants in Germany are more collectivistic than other groups, and so they may be affected to a greater extent by those in their close social networks such as parents and friends than young Germans.

the relatively high rates of participation among Turkish youth could potentially be double-edged. This is because if these high levels of participation are a result of involvement in minority-specific activities or organizations, such involvement might result in the avoidance of mainstream culture and lead to lower levels of integration and participation in the national civic culture. However, the analyses suggested a more encouraging picture. The high levels of participation exhibited by Turkish youth were indeed associated with high levels of participation in minority-specific activities and groups: for example, Turkish youths' engagement with religious groups was higher than their engagement with any other kinds of groups, and was also higher than German youths' involvement with religious groups. However, those Turks who were more strongly engaged with religious groups were also more strongly engaged with other groups including those that were clearly not Turk-specific such as unions and political parties. Hence, religious group involvement could be providing the kind of training in civic and political issues and actions that leads to higher levels of knowledge, interest and internal efficacy and to higher levels of participation more generally. Moreover, the Turkish youth showed a tendency towards bicultural integration, that is, they were positively oriented towards both German and Turkish culture.

5.5.5 Italy
in Italy, data were collected from Italian, Albanian and Moroccan youth. Voting in elections was the preferred method of participation among the Italian youth and was considered effective, while minority youth (who are excluded from voting under current laws in Italy) would do so if the opportunity was provided. Albanian and Moroccan youth expressed a willingness to participate, and participation was considered by them as an indicator of social integration; they selected those means that Italian society allows them, but avoided those forms (e.g. demonstrations) that might be perceived as illegal and jeopardise their chances of being integrated. The most typical forms of participation that were used instead were online participation and non-conventional forms such as consumerism and boycotting. Citizenship was construed as a multidimensional construct with three independent dimensions, namely belonging, identity and rights. Among the Albanian and Moroccan youth, belonging was multiple and flexible, especially among the second generation, and identity was not necessarily related to the legal dimension of citizenship. However 'formal' citizenship was viewed as crucial as it bestows legal rights and increases opportunities to participate in the public sphere from which many minority individuals are excluded and institutionally subordinated.

A small gender gap in participation was found, with a major orientation of young women toward civic action while young men were more orientated towards political participation. For females, more than for their male peers, political participation appeared to be a matter of family support and of family models, with females requiring more encouragement from their families to act in the public domain. The findings suggest that family support for participation and family cultural capital are responsible for the gender gap in political participation.

5.5.6 Northern Ireland
in Northern Ireland, data were collected from Northern Irish Catholic, Northern Irish Protestant, Chinese and Polish youth. Although the levels of political activity that were reported by all groups were low, young people were interested in societal issues and were aware of the importance of their involvement in civic and political life in principle. However a number of factors acted as barriers to translating this interest into action, with the main ones being:
(i) a lack of perceived efficacy – there was a predominant belief that there was a low probability that any action they would take would bring about change;
(ii) the negative stereotypes held by others about the participants' ethnic groups, especially by politicians and older adults and people from other ethnic or political groups; and
(iii) the history of intergroup conflict in Northern Ireland, which also impacted on the willingness to engage in particular forms of action.

5.5.7 Portugal
in Portugal, data were collected from Portuguese, Brazilian and Angolan youth. Although the participants emphasised disinterest in and apathy towards participation, they also mentioned that they had insufficient knowledge to engage, and showed a predisposition to be more concerned with non-conventional forms of participation. They criticised the excessive bureaucracy which was involved in the legalisation of immigrants and the lack of means and mechanisms that could get young people closer to the political sphere, and they emphasised the lack of responsiveness of the state to the needs of youth and criticised tokenism which simply created a false appearance of inclusion. The image of politicians was very negative, with the participants believing that politicians were untrustworthy and never kept their promises. The participants tended to emphasise constraints over opportunities. In other words, they had a negative vision about their real opportunities for civic and political participation, preferring to put the emphasis on their lack of knowledge about how to engage, the weakness of immigration policies, the excessive bureaucracy involved in the legalisation of immigrants, the lack of available information, the discrimination and prejudice which they encountered, etc.

5.5.8 Sweden
in Sweden, data were collected from Swedish, Kurdish (of Turkish background) and Iraqi youth. Over half the participants had never performed any of the civic or political activities which were explored, while the most popular activities were those that do not required much effort. Voting was the most frequent, followed by online participation. Political consumerism was also a fairly common activity, with illegal activities being the least frequent. In general, costs in terms of time appeared to be a strong predictor. A striking finding was that there were virtually no gender differences. However, younger individuals were less active. There were differences between majority and minority/migrant youth, particularly in terms of how they were affected by their varied socioeconomic backgrounds. Minority and migrant youth did not have access to the same basic resources to enable them to equalise their chances to develop their citizenship to its full capacity.

while the manifested actions were generally low, latent forms of civic involvement and political interest as well as the declared intentions to get involved, if needed, were substantially more frequent. Few individuals were genuinely passive.

A feeling of duty was the most common reason given for participating during the preceding twelve months. This was closely followed by a feeling of concern and a chance to have an influence, which seems to suggest that the participants were willing to get engaged when they felt that there were reasons to do so. The most active individuals tended to believe that their parents were more likely to approve political involvement, had parents who were politically active and had parents who believed that engagement is necessary to achieve change in society.

5.5.9 Turkey
in Turkey, data were collected from Turkish and Roma youth and from Turkish youth who were resettlers from Bulgaria. Political interest, political attentiveness and online participation were the main forms of engagement and participation reported. However, the Roma participants in general and the older female Turkish resettlers from Bulgaria were exceptions in this regard; although these groups generally spent high amounts of time watching TV, they did not for the most part follow news or TV programmes on civic and political issues, and these participants also had no or restricted access to the Internet.

5.5.10 Conclusion
overall, the findings obtained within each individual country confirmed the existence of substantial variability in patterns of political and civic participation, and in the predictors of the different forms of participation. This variability was found across countries, across ethnic groups within countries, and across forms of participation. The variability reveals that members of different ethnic groups do not perceive the structure of the society in which they live, and opportunities for participation, in the same ways. Varying cultural, institutional, legal, socio-economic and social factors all impact on how they make sense of their experiences of society and on how they behave. In addition, the particularities of the conditions under which they live lead them to perceive the legitimacy and the effectiveness of different forms of participation in differing ways, which in turn has an impact on their relative willingness to engage in specific forms of political and civic action. In short, the principal findings which were found in the analysis of the existing large-scale datasets (see section 4) were confirmed by the findings from the collection and analysis of new data in the project. Participation, and the predictors of participation, vary according to a wide range of macro, demographic, social and psychological factors. These findings serve to further reinforce the conclusion that theoretical explanations in this area need to encompass simultaneously all four levels of factors, and need to address the specificities of particular forms of participation among particular demographic subgroups living within particular national contexts.

6. Theoretical integration
the task of theoretical integration in the PIDOP project involved the synthesis of the preceding theoretical work that had been conducted within the project (see sections 2 and 3) with the findings that had emerged from the analysis of the existing survey datasets (see section 4) and the new data that had been collected (see section 5). Theoretical integration needs to acknowledge the importance of macro, demographic, social and psychological factors, and the findings from the project which show that:
(i) the factors that drive participation vary according to the specific form of participation that is involved;
(ii) different predictors are operative in different demographic subgroups;
(iii) different predictors are operative in countries characterised by different macro factors, with the contribution of macro factors varying according to the particular form of participation that is involved; and
(iv) within any given context, macro, demographic, social and psychological factors interact in complex ways to drive patterns of participation.

macro contextual factors themselves can be subdivided into two main categories: (i) the specific characteristics of the institutions and civic and political processes in the country in which an individual lives, which create the political opportunity structures for the people who live within that country; and (ii) the broader characteristics of the country, including the historical, economic, cultural and population characteristics of the country concerned. These two sets of macro factors themselves causally impact on the various social factors which mediate the effects of macro factors on the individual, as depicted in the model shown in Annex 5.

in addition, there are many psychological factors which impact on civic and political participation, as depicted in the model shown in Annex 4. This model describes the relationships between the cognitive, affective and motivational drivers of three specific forms of participation, namely a conventional form of political participation (voting), a non-conventional form of political participation (collective action) and a form of civic participation (volunteering).

these two models are inter-connected in that the psychological model provides a detailed unpacking of two of the elements (i.e. the intra-individual cognitive factors and the intra-individual affective and motivational factors) that are included in the macro/social model. These two models, taken together, therefore provide a detailed integrative account of the numerous pathways that can enhance or hinder the three different forms of participation.

7. The development of recommendations for policy and practice
the research conducted by the PIDOP project led to the identification of a large range of factors which can promote political and civic participation as well as a large range of factors which can inhibit or hamper participation. In the light of these findings, the project developed a series of detailed recommendations concerning the actions which may be taken by many different social and political actors and institutions to enhance political and civic participation among youth, women, migrants and minorities.

these recommendations were broken down under the following four main headings:
1. Recommendations for politicians and political institutions
2. Recommendations for media producers and media organisations
3. Recommendations for ministries of education, educational professionals and schools
4. Recommendations for civil society actors, including youth workers, youth and leisure centres, youth and education NGOs, and leaders of ethnic minority communities

examples of the recommendations that were made under each of these headings are as follows.

7.1 Examples of the recommendations for politicians and political institutions

- Young people should be treated more attentively and with greater respect by politicians and other adults. Politicians need to show young people that they listen and pay attention to their views on civic and political matters, individually and as a group.

- Politicians and policymakers should view civic and non-conventional forms of participation as equally important as conventional forms of participation, and should address, and provide feedback on, issues which have been raised through these alternative forms of activism.

- National, regional and local governments should ensure that all youth have access to membership of a range of organisations, including youth and leisure centres, sports clubs, cultural centres, local community centres, etc., and should encourage youth to take up membership of these organisations.

- There should be a more systematic and consistent implementation of EU anti-discrimination laws, which would help to counter the development of feelings of exclusion and alienation among ethnic minority and migrant communities as a consequence of the prejudice and inequity which they experience.

- Political and civic institutions and policymakers need to be more aware of the internal diversity which exists within all national and ethnic groups, and alert to the fact that different policies may be required to meet the needs of different subgroups, including those of girls and young women as well as those of boys and young men. This should occur at all levels in the political and civic systems, but it is especially important that institutions and policymakers at the local level are aware of this variability and internal diversity.

7.2 Examples of the recommendations for media producers and media organisations

- The news media should represent the participatory actions of young people – such as participation in protests and demonstrations – with greater fairness, respect and seriousness, so that young people can feel that their arguments and positions are being accurately and impartially represented by the news media.

- The news media should not focus exclusively on the negative, disruptive or anti-social incidents that occur at young people's participation events such as demonstrations, but should instead give equal attention to the positive and well-intentioned character of demonstrations and other social and political participatory efforts by youth.

- Media organisations should set up and effectively publicise communication channels to enable youth, women, ethnic minorities and migrants to have the opportunity to provide feedback on how they have been represented in the media.

7.3 Examples of the recommendations for ministries of education, schools and educational professionals

- Ministries of education should ensure that more effective education and information is provided by schools about political and civic issues, and about how to become involved in politics and other voluntary spheres of activity.

- Schools should provide a greater range of opportunities for young people to obtain practical experience of active civic and political participation, and should facilitate positive high quality participation experiences through school projects and volunteering activities that are embedded in the local community in particular.

- Because the development of the skills which are required for active citizenship depends not only on the acquisition of knowledge but also on the accumulation of practical experience, students should be given more responsibility in schools through participation in democratic decision-making with teaching staff, so that they learn democracy and participation through their daily practical experience (and not only through formal civic/citizenship education classes).

- Schools should take steps to ensure that their students have sufficient time to undertake civic and political activities, and should consider the attainment of high quality participatory activity as a formal educational objective.

- Educationalists who are developing interventions aimed at enhancing levels of political and civic participation should be mindful that different forms of intervention may be required to enhance different types of participation.

- Educationalists who are developing interventions aimed at enhancing levels of political and civic participation should be mindful that different forms of intervention may be required for younger vs. older individuals, women vs. men, and minority vs. majority individuals.

- Educationalists who are developing interventions aimed at enhancing levels of political and civic participation should focus on amplifying the political interest and internal efficacy of young people in particular. Thus, educational programmes in civic/citizenship education should be aimed primarily at:
greater than enabling young people to acquire an interest in political and civic affairs
greater than fostering their knowledge and understanding of political and civic matters
greater than supporting the development of the skills which they require to participate effectively in the political and civic life of their community and country

- Schools should recognise the fact that minority and migrant youth may have a fluid sense of their own identities which combines the culture of their parents' homeland, the culture of the country in which they are living, and other cultures specific to youth.

7.4 Examples of the recommendations for civil society actors, including youth workers, youth and leisure centres, youth and education NGOs, and leaders of ethnic minority communities

- Youth workers, youth and leisure centres, and youth and education NGOs should strengthen activities requiring shared decision-making between youth and adults in different community contexts, for instance in leisure, sports and volunteering activities. In particular, they should involve young people in decisions concerning the orientation of activities, their organisation, and the procedures which will be followed in their pursuit.

- Youth and leisure centres, and youth and education NGOs, should also improve social inclusion processes and guarantee equal opportunities for women, minorities and migrants in order to increase civic engagement and political participation among these subgroups.

- Civil society organisations should make greater efforts to attract young people, particularly disengaged youth who are not members of any organisations. Such youth should be offered a wide range of organisational opportunities for participation and the opportunity to obtain high quality participation experiences within organisations.

- Women's organisations should also make greater efforts to reach out to girls and young women, and to offer them a wide range of organisational opportunities for participation and the opportunity to obtain high quality participation experiences.

- Ethnic community leaders and youth agencies and NGOs should encourage young people from ethnic minority and migrant groups to take part as volunteers in projects involving their own ethnic community. Such projects might, for example, focus on heritage and cultural issues, promote the role of their own community in a multicultural environment, challenge ethnic stereotypes, or promote inclusion.

A copy of the full set of recommendations that was developed by the PIDOP project can be downloaded from

potential Impact:
in terms of impact, the two main goals of the PIDOP project were: (i) to advance the state-of-the-art in the field of political and civic participation; and (ii) to provide evidence-based information and guidance which can be used to inform the development of policy, practice and interventions for enhancing political and civic participation, particularly among youth, women, minorities and migrants.

the project has made major contributions to the understanding of political and civic participation in many different disciplines, including Politics, Psychology, Sociology, Social Policy and Education. The theoretical work conducted by the project has significantly enhanced our knowledge of the factors that impact on political and civic participation, while the empirical work has produced a substantial body of new evidence about how factors at the macro, demographic, social and psychological levels are inter-related and how they interact in driving patterns of participation. The complexities of the causal pathways which are involved have not previously been documented at this level of detail, and for this reason the findings of the project have brought a new dimension to knowledge in the field. Furthermore, the sheer volume of new data that has been collected will continue to generate original scientific publications for many years to come.

likewise, the second goal of the project, to provide evidence-based information and guidance to aid the future development of policy, practice and interventions, has also been achieved. The final policy recommendations which are published on the PIDOP website contain 61 recommendations concerning the specific concrete actions that can be taken by a wide range of social and political actors and institutions to enhance levels of political and civic participation and engagement, especially actions that can enhance participation and engagement among youth, women, ethnic minorities and migrants, four groups that have traditionally been deemed to be at risk of political and civic disengagement. The societal impact of the project will of course ultimately depend on the extent to which these actors and institutions take up and implement these recommendations, but the PIDOP project has provided the relevant actors and institutions with ample resources to achieve these goals.

in order to maximise the likelihood of the new scientific knowledge and findings impacting on the work of other researchers, and to maximise the likelihood of the various social and political actors and institutions adopting and implementing the policy recommendations, the PIDOP consortium has engaged in a range of dissemination activities during its lifetime, as follows.

at the outset of the project, a project website was set up. This contains descriptions of the activities of the consortium, the outcomes of the research, and their associated policy and practice implications and recommendations. The website has been updated regularly throughout the course of the project.

A directory of external stakeholders was also compiled at the outset of the project. This directory includes community organisations, governance actors at regional, national and EU level, policy development organisations at regional, national and EU level and relevant research communities. All partners in the consortium have contributed details of their own stakeholder and researcher contacts to the directory and have helped to identify additional possible stakeholders and researchers within their own countries. The contents of the directory have been updated regularly throughout the course of the project.

an electronic newsletter was compiled and distributed at regular intervals to all of the stakeholders and researchers listed in the directory, in order to keep them informed about the activities of the consortium. These newsletters were also made available as downloads from the consortium website. Six newsletters were produced in total across the three years of the project.

A series of policy briefing papers was also produced, which summarised the findings and outcomes of each strand of the research in clear, non-technical language, and presented a series of policy recommendations based on the findings. These briefing papers were distributed electronically to all the stakeholders and researchers in the directory, and were also made available as downloads from the consortium website. Seven policy briefing papers were produced in total.

an International Advisory Board was also established at the outset of the project. The IAB initially consisted of senior social scientists with notable expertise and experience in this field of research. The intention here was to draw upon their expertise in the development of the research, and to ensure that the most senior members of the international research community were made aware of the project and its outcomes. At a later stage in the project, a group of senior figures from policy bodies also joined the IAB, and they contributed actively to the formulation of the final policy recommendations.

list of Websites: