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Patterns of participation: Political and social participation in 22 nations


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  • Newton, Kenneth
  • Giebler, Heiko
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    Many studies show that political participation at the individual level is fragmented, multidimensional and non-cumulative, but comparison of 22 nations in Europe shows that different kinds of social and political participation at the country level are cumulative, unidimensional. The result is a set of country families of participation. Since these generally correspond with the country families found in studies of public policy, it raises the possibility of still higher-level generalizations covering an even broader range of social, economic, and political country characteristics. Finally, this study explores various theories explaining country patterns and families of participation and concludes that this is best done by a reference to a single syndrome of country characteristics covering democratic and economic development, government effectiveness, low corruption, high public expenditure on public personal services, and the rule of law. These factors seem to act as a mutually reinforcing system of cause and effects that are closely associated with country levels of participation of many different kinds. -- Während viele Studien auf der Individualebene eine fragmentierte, mehrdimensionale und nicht-kumulative Struktur politischer Partizipation aufzeigen, kommt dieser Vergleich von 22 Nationen Europas auf der Makroebene zum Ergebnis, dass verschiedene Formen politischer und sozialer Beteiligung sowohl kumulativ als auch eindimensional sind. So können im Hinblick auf die Partizipation Länderfamilien definiert werden. Da diese weitgehend mit jenen Länderfamilien übereinstimmen, die sich aus anderen Studien ergeben haben, eröffnet sich die Möglichkeit einer weiter reichenden Generalisierung, die vielfältige soziale, ökonomische und politische Ländercharakteristika umfasst. Darüber hinaus werden verschiedene theoretische Ansätze zur Erklärung von Ländergruppen und Partizipationsmustern überprüft mit dem Ergebnis, dass dies am besten mit einem Netz eng verwandter Indikatoren gelingt, namentlich der demokratischen und ökonomischen Entwicklung, der Regierungseffizienz, niedriger Korruption, hohen öffentlichen Ausgaben in den Bereichen Bildung und Gesundheit sowie Rechtstaatlichkeit. Diese Faktoren bilden ein sich gegenseitig verstärkendes System von Ursache und Wirkung, das in einer engen Verknüpfung mit dem Ausmaß an Beteiligung in verschiedenen Bereichen steht.

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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Democracy and Democratization with number SP IV 2008-201.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbdsc:spiv2008201

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    1. Delhey, Jan & Newton, Kenneth, 2004. "Social trust: global pattern or nordic exceptionalism?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration SP I 2004-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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