Democratic Phoenix: Reinventing Political Activism by Pippa Norris

By Pippa Norris

Traditional knowledge means that electorate in lots of nations became disengaged from conventional political participation. Commentators spotlight indicators of sagging electoral turnout, emerging anti-party sentiment, and the decay of civic agencies. yet are those issues justified? This e-book compares systematic proof in approximately 2 hundred nations all over the world and indicates purposes for wondering assumptions of decline. not just is the obituary for older kinds of political activism untimely, yet new varieties of sleek civic engagement might be rising.

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52 Moreover, since resources are unevenly distributed throughout societies, these factors help to explain differences in political participation related to gender, race/ethnicity, age, and social class. As well as the skills and resources that facilitate civic engagement, participation also requires the motivation to become active in public affairs. Motivational attitudes may be affective, meaning related to the emotional sense of civic engagement – for example, if people vote out of a sense of duty or patriotism – or instrumental, driven more by the anticipated benefits of the activity.

Rather than relying on an oversimple monocausal explanation, the challenge is to understand the relative importance of each of these factors and the interactions among them. The underlying social and economic forces are entered first in sub- Theories of Political Activism 31 sequent models, such as macro levels of human development, measured by rates of literacy, education, and income (per capita GNP). Aggregate levels of political rights and civil liberties, and the institutions associated with the structure of the state, are subsequently analyzed.

14 This development is conventionally understood to have started in the most affluent parts of the Western world after the Second World War, a process that continues to spread and expand. This stage is fuelled by multiple developments, and the ones most commonly highlighted include: • The rise of the professional and managerial occupations in the private and public sectors; • Rapid technological and scientific innovation; • The process of globalization breaking down the barriers of the nation-state; • Economic growth generating an expanded middle class, rising standards of living, and growing leisure time; • Increased levels of human capital and cognitive skills generated by wider access to university education; • Growing equality of sex roles in the home, family, and workplace, and the rise of women in the paid labor force; • The shift in the mass media from broadcasting toward more specialized narrowcasting in the digital age; • The growth of immigration across national borders and the rise of multiculturalism; • The move from ascribed occupational and social roles given at birth • • • • toward achieved roles derived from formal educational qualifications and careers; Greater social and geographic mobility; The diffusion from urban areas to suburban neighborhoods; The weakening of the bonds connecting the extended family, and changing patterns of marriage and divorce; The process of secularization weakening religious ties.

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