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How citizens try to influence politics and why. International comparisons of movement and party politics

Objective

Protests in ‘new’ democracies about ‘stolen elections’, demonstrations in ‘old’ democracies against austerity measures, occupied squares all over the world against inequality and for better governance. Some argue that contentious politics gains importance and party politics declines. Is that so and why would that be? Why is it that some individuals engage in politics while others remain apathetic? Why is it that some citizens take the electoral route, while others engage in contentious politics? The truth is that we do not really know. Should we bother? I think we should. Citizens who are actively involved in politics are an asset to democracy. Understanding how and why people take part in politics would help to build more democratic societies.

The proposed project compares participation in contentious and non-contentious politics in various countries within a single theoretical and methodological framework. A central tenet of this research proposal is that sooner or later every citizen might get involved in politics. I seek the reason why in the interplay of dynamics at the individual, the organizational, and the societal level. What are the motives people have? What are the appeals parties and movement organizations disseminate; and what are the opportunities and constraints regimes impose?

Comparison is the core of the project. It encompasses four subproject: (1) a meta-analysis of publications on movement and party politics; (2) comparisons of political participation over time and countries in global survey data; (3) focus group discussions to understand the formation of political engagement and disengagement in four ‘old’ democracies (the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, U.S.A.), two post-communist ‘new’ democracies (Hungary, Romania) and two post-authoritarian ‘new’ democracies (Brazil, Argentina) and Greece as a country that was hit harder than any country by the financial crisis; (4) experimental focused surveys among 1000 respondents to quantify patterns of political participation in the same nine countries.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/sociology/governance
  • /social sciences/political science/government systems/democracy

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-ADG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

STICHTING VU
Address
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 721 999,96
Principal investigator
Pieter Gijsbertus Klandermans (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Isjah Koppejan (Mrs.)

Beneficiaries (5)

STICHTING VU
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 1 721 999,96
Address
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Pieter Gijsbertus Klandermans (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Isjah Koppejan (Mrs.)
KOZEP-EUROPAI EGYETEM
Hungary
EU contribution
€ 219 000
Address
Nador Utca 9
1051 Budapest
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Vanda Mohacsi (Ms.)
UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE GENERAL SAN MARTIN
Argentina
EU contribution
€ 68 100
Address
Martin De Irigoyen 3100
1650 San Martin Buenos Aires
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Mariana Funes (Ms.)
FUNDACAO UNIVERSIDADE DE BRASILIA

Participation ended

Brazil
Address
Campus Universitario Darcy Ribeiro Faculdade De Tecnologie At 05 Bairro Asa Norte
70919 970 Brasilia Df
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Marcelo Carvalho Rosa (Prof.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 221 700,02
Address
The Queen's Drive Northcote House
EX4 4QJ Exeter
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Gaynor Hughes (Mrs.)