Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Specialisation of political participation in Europe : a comparative analysis
Author: de Rooij, Eline A.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis answers the question how and why do individuals specialise in different types of political participation? By examining the degree to which individuals concentrate their political activities within one type of political participation, or spread them out across many. This thesis complements previous research on rates of political participation; and adapts and extends existing theories of political participation to explain differences in the degree of specialisation between different groups in society and between countries. Using data from the European Social Survey, covering as many as 21 European countries, and applying a range of different statistical methods, I distinguish four types of political participation: voting, conventional and unconventional political participation and consumer politics. I show that in countries with higher levels of socio-economic development, more democratic experience, and an increased presence of mobilising agents, the degree to which individuals concentrate their political activities within one type of political participation is higher, regardless of the accessibility and responsiveness of their political institutions. This is partly due to the fact that these countries have a higher educated population and that higher educated individuals specialise more. Specialisation also varies along the lines of other socio-demographic divisions, such as those based on gender. Moreover, I show that in contexts in which political issues are salient, such as during an election year, individuals are more likely to engage in non-electoral types of political participation if they also vote. This implies that specialisation is reduced during times of country-wide political mobilisation. The final finding of my thesis is that non-Western immigrants tend to concentrate their political activities less within one type of political participation than the majority population in Western Europe. Western immigrants specialise quite differently, suggesting differences in the way in which they are mobilised. As well as providing an important contribution to the study of political participation, these findings are relevant to discussions regarding citizen engagement and representation.
Supervisor: Fisher, Stephen D. Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council ; Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Nuffield College
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology ; Political Science ; Civil society ; European democracies ; Democratic government ; Elections ; Ethnic minorities and ethnicity ; Statistics (social sciences) ; political action ; political engagement ; mobilization ; protest ; voting ; political integration ; ethnic minorities ; immigrants