Democratic Phoenix: Reinventing Political Activism by Pippa Norris

By Pippa Norris

Traditional knowledge means that electorate in lots of international locations became disengaged from conventional political participation. Commentators spotlight indicators of sagging electoral turnout, emerging anti-party sentiment, and the decay of civic corporations. yet are those matters justified? This booklet compares systematic facts in approximately 200 nations around the globe and indicates purposes for wondering assumptions of decline. not just is the obituary for older different types of political activism untimely, yet new kinds of glossy civic engagement can be rising.

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G. 1. Theoretical framework. In the light of these theories, the challenge is to try to sort out the relative importance of each of these factors. 1 illustrates the core analytic model used in the book. Societal Modernization The central claim, and indeed the seductive appeal, of modernization theories is that economic, cultural, and political changes go together in predictable ways, so that there are broadly similar trajectories, which form coherent patterns, even if particular circumstances mean that what occurs in any given society cannot be predicted exactly.

PART I THE PUZZLE OF ELECTORAL TURNOUT The report of my death was an exaggeration. Mark Twain (1896) 3 Mapping Turnout Electoral turnout is one of the most common indicators used to gauge the health of democracy, and many worry that conventional participation via the ballot box is plummeting in affluent societies, providing a danger signal for deeper troubles. If so, the reasons for this phenomenon remain a puzzle. S. 3 Yet if historical experiences have produced widespread civic apathy among the postwar generation in America, it remains unclear whether these patterns are distinctive to the United States.

Putnam’s definition has two components: associational activism and social trust. The study compares alternative measures of belonging to many 18 Introduction common types of voluntary associations, social clubs, and civic organizations. The study concludes that social trust, but not associational activism, is strongly related to levels of human and democratic development. Chapter 9 examines whether traditional agencies of mobilization, such as trade unions and religious organizations, have weakened over the years because of long-term secular and structural trends, and considers how far these agencies boost levels of political participation.

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