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Matej Makarovič

It is questionable to which extend one can generalise the trends in participation such as the decline of the classical forms of political participation and/or the rise of the new ones, since there may be significant differences between various participation patterns in European democracies, not only between the old and the new ones but also within both categories. Application of the hierarchical cluster analysis – using the voting turnouts and other statistics, the survey data on the relevant behaviour and attitudes - enables one to distinguish between the following patterns of participation
in Europe:
1) The western pattern characterised by medium levels of all types of socio-political participation
2) The northern active democracies characterised by intensive social and political participation of all types 3) The passive democracies with relative lack of all types of active
participation. Though some common European trends may be identified, especially in the long run, the extends to which these trends have taken place, vary considerably. Significant differences remain even in the long run and under the seemingly similar European/global conditions. Consequently the convergence hypothesis may only be confirmed to a very limited extend and with great caution.
Key words: political participation, democracy, Europe, convergence
Matej Makarovič is assistant professor of sociology at the Faculty of Applied Social Studies, Nova Gorica, Slovenia.
He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Cite this article:
Makarovič Matej. Patterns of Political Participation in Europe. Innovative Issues and Approaches in Social Sciences, vol.1, no.3:43-62, DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2008-no3-art02

Digital Object Identifier(DOI): http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2008-no3-art02

View full text in pdf: http://www.iiass.com/pdf/IIASS-2008-no3-art02.pdf


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