New Participatory Dimensions in Civil Society: Professionalization and Individualized Collective Action

1st Edition

Jan W. van Deth, William A. Maloney

Routledge
Published May 30, 2014
Reference - 288 Pages - 12 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138802360 - CAT# Y170094
Series: Routledge/ECPR Studies in European Political Science

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Summary

This book examines citizen engagement in contemporary democratic politics and the development of new participatory forms. Based on empirical information gathered from citizens, activists and organizations, it examines the changing face of democratic participation.

Advanced democracies are ‘plagued’ by the complex problem of basing political decisions on the active engagement of citizens and citizens’ organisations. Although the benefits of an active citizenry appear great, the reality is that most citizens positively embrace a relatively marginal role in organised politics. The conventional activist –citizens as active members engaged in voluntary associations and collective decision-making – seems to be replaced by passive supporters and donors or ephemeral or episodic democratic participators. This volume aims to address several issues at the core of this transformation: the rise of checkbook participation, the growing attractiveness of individualized forms of participation, and the increasing relevance of professional expertise.

Looking beyond the traditional single focus on participation or on organizations in isolation, the book innovatively examines the empirical link that can be established between actual developments in democratic participations and the organizational framework in European countries.

New Participatory Dimensions in Civil Society is essential reading for students and scholars of democracy, participation, civil society, politics and sociology.

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