Political Participation and Democracy in Britain
Why do some people involve themselves in politics and others not? Which issues are they concerned with? What do they get out of it? Answering such questions is fundamental to understanding political life and the workings of liberal democracies. This book presents the results of one of the most extensive surveys ever undertaken on the levels and patterns of political involvement in Britain. It is based on the findings of a sample survey of nearly 1,600 people across England, Scotland and Wales as well as a further 1,600 men and women and nearly 300 leaders in six specially selected and contrasting communities. These people were asked about the extent to which they had taken political action, particularly at a local level, and the authors found higher levels of participation than previous research has revealed. They analyse these findings in terms of age, gender, social class and education and look at the reactions of local leaders to the efforts people make to influence them.
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The study of participation and its political context
Patterns of political participation
wealth and group resources
controlling for other ties and individual resources
and individual resources
Party and values
Who are the political activists?
Agendas and political action
Do participants get what they want? The costs and benefits
Learning from political participation
The local political scene
Participation and democracy in Britain
Appendix A Survey methods
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1983 General Election active adjusted agenda amongst analysis asked average beta Britain chapter citizens collective action communitarians complete activists concern Conservative contacting council councillors cynicism democracy democratic direct action economic educational qualifications effect elections elite extent factors favourable feminist figure gender gender gap green/peace group action group resources impact important inactive individual resources influence involved issues Kaase Labour Party leaders less levels of participation life-cycle Machars major Member of Parliament membership mobilisation modes of participation organisations Oswestry outlooks overall participation participatory party campaigning pattern Penrhiwceiber petty bourgeoisie political action political efficacy political participation poorest population positive problems proportion relationship relatively responses salariat sample sector seen Sevenoaks significant six localities social Spotland staff association Stockwell strong suggests survey trades unions types unadjusted unemployment values Verba voluntary group voting wealth whilst women