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Existing theories struggle when political engagement is an end in itself. To explain intrinsically motivated engagement in politics, this study synthesizes psychological theories to deduce a need-based theory of political motivation. It posits that intrinsic political motivation has roots in seemingly apolitical processes of need satisfaction that are universal and deeply ingrained in the human psyche. However, in a high-powered survey experiment, 14 of 15 preregistered analytical tests did not yield the expected evidence for the basic tenet that previous need-related experiences with politics affect the quality and quantity of future activities in the political domain. Showcasing a stepwise approach to engage with null results in hypothesis-driven research, post hoc analyses solidify the null findings, which call into question the validity of the presented theory and the previous evidence on which it was built. This study thus enhances our understanding of what does and does not underlie intrinsic motivation for political engagement.
Gender gaps in voter turnout and electoral representation have narrowed, but other forms of gender inequality remain. We examine gendered differences in donations: who donates and to whom? Donations furnish campaigns with necessary resources, provide voters with cues about candidate viability, and influence which issues politicians prioritize. We exploit an administrative data set to analyze donations to Canadian parties and candidates over a 25-year period. We use an automated classifier to estimate donor gender and then link these data to candidate and party characteristics. Importantly, and in contrast to null effects from research on gender affinity voting, we find women are more likely to donate to women candidates, but women donate less often and in smaller amounts than men. The lack of formal gendered donor networks and the reliance on more informal, male-dominated local connections may influence women donors’ behavior. Change over a quarter century has been modest, and large gender gaps persist.
Chapter 4 examines the second macro-political factor in Rwanda’s path to genocide: democratization. Political liberalization simultaneously posed a threat to Rwanda’s incumbent elite and created a new political opportunity for challenger elites. The chapter shows how Rwanda’s move to liberalize – in line with the trend across Africa in the early 1990s – collided with its civil war with calamitous effect. The unfortunate coincidence of these two processes pushed Rwanda towards ethnic confrontation. The chapter explores how their interaction exposed a dark side to three processes commonly associated with political liberalization: pluralism, competition, and participation. Pluralization led to the expression of a broad spectrum of political interests and ideologies in Rwanda including the re-emergence of an ethnicist ideology. The chapter shows that this ideology had only marginal support initially. Moderation was ascendant at first and political parties sought cross-ethnic support. However, as the threat posed by the war escalated, this changed. The internal political competition created by multipartyism interacted with this external military contestation. In the face of weak constraints domestically and internationally, ethnic extremism gradually moved from the background to the foreground of Rwandan politics and society. Liberalization also increased political participation and a new class of challenger elites emerged at the local level, a radical sub-set of which would become mobilizing agents during the genocide.
This article complicates the conventional wisdom that Chinese lawyers are either politically liberal activists or apolitical hired guns by training our attention on the group of lawyers who choose to stand adjacent to the state and participate in governance. Through an examination of how and why winners of the state-sanctioned Outstanding Lawyer Award participate in politics, we illustrate how state-adjacent lawyers provide the state with information and persuade others to behave in ways the state considers appropriate. Although proximity to power affords some social and professional benefits, award winners are also motivated by a commitment to improving Chinese society. By highlighting the political role played by lawyers who serve as a bridge between state and society, we open the door to future research on the relationship between the state and professionals in other industries and countries, and call for continued attention to how inequality shapes opportunities for political participation in China.
How do Latin America’s poorest citizens participate in politics? This article explores the role that community organizations play in mobilizing individuals into three common modes of political participation: voting, protesting, and contacting government. It argues that community organizations help mobilize poor individuals both through the resources they provide for mobilization and because they serve as sites where political parties target individuals for mobilization. It analyzes survey data from LAPOP surveys for 18 Latin American countries and finds that overall, poor people are just as politically active as more affluent individuals; that involvement in community organizations is a very strong predictor of all types of political participation; and that membership in organizations has an especially strong effect on voting and protesting for poor people. By equalizing levels of political participation across income groups, organizations help erase class-based inequalities in participation that have plagued democracies in the region.
This chapter deals with Sunni Islamic political thought with regard to the state, political participation and societal rights and freedoms (religious minority rights, women’s rights and civil liberties) from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the twentieth century. It does so for three reasons: firstly, classical Islamic political thought forms an important source of the Brotherhood’s ideas; secondly, dealing with the classical tradition also shows the continuity and change of Sunni Islamic political thought from the advent of Islam to modern-day Jordan; and thirdly, this chapter introduces many of the basic concepts that will be dealt with in greater detail later on. This chapter concentrates on Islamic political thought until the twentieth century, showing that sharīʿa-centred, umma-centred and balanced approaches to Islamic political thought could already be discerned in classical times with regard to the three themes mentioned above. These serve as the basis for the analysis of the problems that the modern-day Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood has to deal with. Based mostly on secondary sources, this chapter is divided into three main sections: the first concentrates on the state; the second focusses on political participation; and the third deals with societal rights and freedoms.
This chapter deals with the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood’s views on political participation. It analyses the four different means of political participation distinguished in Chapters 1–2 (commanding right and forbidding wrong; consultation; oath of fealty; and obedience) that act as links between the core concept of ‘ruler’ and the adjacent concept of ‘umma’ (and ‘sharīʿa’). It first deals with them from the point of view of global Islamist scholars who have influenced the Brotherhood in Jordan and then by analysing the divided ways in which the Jordanian organisation has used these itself. As such, it – again – shows the diversity of Islamist ideas on these issues and deepens our understanding of why the divisions within the Jordanian Brotherhood are so important with regard to the ‘inclusion-moderation’ thesis.
This chapter deals with the variety of thought among the thinkers of the early Muslim Brotherhood about the three subjects of the state, political participation and societal rights and freedoms in the period of the late 1920s to the late 1970s. It indicates what main stances can be discerned about the three issues mentioned among the major thinkers associated with the organisation. This is important because the ideological divisions in the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood still run along the lines of sharīʿa-centred, umma-centred or balanced thinking and, as with classical Islamic political thought, have also been heavily influenced by the early Brotherhood’s beliefs. As such, the ideological outlook of these three different trends has shaped the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood’s overall stance towards the subjects of the state, political participation and societal rights and freedoms dealt with in this chapter.
The success of Islamic-based political and economic movements is contrasted with lower rates of political and economic activity in Muslim countries. The latter -- a significant “participation gap“ -- holds even after accounting for differences at the national-level and, within countries, across individuals. Based on these two trends, the argument is made that Islamic-based movements enjoy a comparative advantage when it comes to mobilizing individuals to participate in collective political and economic activities. This helps to clarify two key research questions: What are the obstacles to political and economic participation among individuals in the Muslim world? And how do references to Islam help to address these obstacles? Three existing explanations for the Islamic advantage are reviewed, each defined in terms of how it sees the obstacle to participation and the role of Islam in alleviating it. While grievance theory holds that Islam speaks to frustrations and resentments among the poor, the faith-based theory of transvaluation argues that religious beliefs create a sense of duty to serve God, regardless of the risks involved. A final theory suggests that individuals are better informed about what they can expect from Islamic-based groups,.
Observable implications of three existing theories of the Islamic advantage -- grievances, faith, information -- are tested using a variety of data sources. Contrary to the expectations of grievance theory, individuals in the Muslim world appear to be more dissatisfied and less apathetic. Moreover, participation rates are lowest among the most aggrieved, much as they are elsewhere in the world. In contrast to what the faith-based theory expects, participation rates are significantly lower among individuals with the strongest religious beliefs. Further, the popularity of Islamic-based political and economic movements does not appear to follow trends in religiosity in the aggregate, neither across space nor across time. Instead, support for these movements appears to come from both the religious and the secular, in Turkey and across the Muslim world. Finally, there is little evidence that voters in Muslim countries are uninformed, generally, or better informed about Islamic-based parties, in particular. The lack of support for the all three existing theories reopens the puzzle of Islamic-based movements yet again.
The importance of interpersonal trust for participation in mass politics has been established in some contexts, but rarely in the developing world, and the mechanism linking trust to participation has not be well specified. In this chapter, the link between trust and participation is defined in terms of interdependence, on the one hand, and uncertainty, on the other. Based on this, participation levels are expected to be lower for individuals who generally distrust others and higher for those with a salient religious group identity. Moreover, religious group identity is expected to bolster participation because group-based trust operates as an effective substitute for generalized trust, where it is absent. The hypotheses are tested using survey responses from twenty-four Muslim countries, and evidence is found in support of each. Finally, the theory is extended to explain how repression impacts the advantage of Islamic-based political movements: in contrast to existing theories, which hold that repression should effectively sideline Islamic groups, I illustrate how increased repression bolsters the Islamic advantage by making trust even more important for political participation.
A growing body of research suggests that proximal exposure to immigration enforcement can have important social and health-related consequences. However, there is little research identifying the impact of proximal contact with immigration policy on political attitudes and behaviors, and still less investigating the underlying mechanisms that might connect contact and political dispositions. Drawing on insights from criminal justice, we argue that proximal immigration contact influences political behavior via a sense of injustice with respect to the discriminatory application of immigration enforcement. The impact of a sense of injustice should primarily hold among Latinos, who are targeted on the basis of race, ethnicity, accent, and skin color. Nevertheless, it may also hold among Blacks, whose communities are targeted more generally, and Asians, to whom issues related to immigration are likewise important. In order to assess this theory, we leverage a survey with nationally representative samples of four different racial groups. We find that proximal contact motivates participation in protests, and does so indirectly via a sense of injustice for white and Asian respondents. Latino and Black respondents are primarily motivated by injustice irrespective of contact. In sum, the results suggest that immigration enforcement and non-immigration-related criminal justice policies may have similar political effects on those who are proximately affected.
The 2016 presidential contest is widely considered as the first “social media election” in the Philippines. At the same time, it remains unclear if or how social media helped Rodrigo Duterte mobilize voters to gain victory. There are three main social media campaigning models: broadcast, grassroots, and self-actualizing. Analysis of twenty million activities and 39,942 randomly sampled comments across the official Facebook pages of key presidential candidates supports the grassroots model as Duterte's profile was the most engaged, even if Duterte himself was not actively engaged. Such inconsistencies raise the prospect that Duterte's online prominance was fabricated by paid trolls and fake accounts. Instead, our analysis suggests that Duterte's digital fanbase was, at least in part, a reflection of offline, grassroots political support. In particular, data from an original survey of 621 respondents suggests that Duterte supporters were not only aggressive in their support for Duterte online, they were also more committed to him offline as well. These findings add to a growing literature on social media and politics that seeks to understand the broader ecosystem of online political discourse, rather than focusing on the actions and strategies of political campaigns. They also underscore the fine line between fabricated support and genuine political fervor.
This article focuses on the relationship between Alevis and the Turkish and German states. It does so by examining the Turkish Alevi Opening (2009–2010) and the German Islam Conference (2006–present), two unprecedented official platforms aimed at improving Alevis’ political participation. The study asks why such state-sponsored initiatives came into existence in Turkey and Germany, and why the German Islam Conference has proven more successful from the perspective of Alevis. It argues that even though the diffusion of EU norms and pressure from transnational advocacy networks have increased awareness regarding the Alevi issue, domestic factors have been more salient in the emergence and outcome of these initiatives in both countries.
What is the effect of membership in civil associations on political participation? Membership has been linked to providing social capital and personal networks, which in turn help citizens more easily navigate politics. Yet this link is empirically complex, since politically interested individuals self-select into networks and associations. This research note addresses the impact of membership on different forms of political participation using a panel survey from Sweden that distinguishes between passive and active membership in various types of associations. The baseline results reaffirm a strong association between membership and political participation. The survey's panel dimension is exploited to reveal that earlier scholarship has likely overstated the robustness of membership's participatory effects. Rather, the remaining impact of association membership in the panel specification is mainly driven by types of associations for which the highest degree of selection behaviour is expected.
What are the consequences of being the victim of crime for political participation? Previous studies report mixed results with respect to voter turnout, in contrast to the positive effects found for other indicators of political engagement. However, previous turnout studies have failed to differentiate between violent and non-violent crime, and have relied on cross-sectional survey data that is prone to measurement biases and selection effects. This article addresses these shortcomings via a panel analysis of official registry data from Denmark recording individual-level turnout in two municipal elections (in 2009 and 2013) and victimization from violent and non-violent crime. It identifies the effect of victimization by comparing changes in turnout between the two elections for victims and two different counterfactual groups: non-victims in the general population, and individuals who were victimized after the 2013 election. The results show that victimization from violent crime increases turnout by 2 to 3 percentage points. The study further demonstrates a large negative between-individual effect of victimization, suggesting that previous studies have been marred by severe selection bias.
This chapter starts with an ethnographic description of the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the National Assembly for Wales based on archival, historical and ethnographic data (observations and interviews) between 2009 and 2011. A quantitative assessment of the speaking turns and a close analysis of the debate floor shows that unlike the House of Commons, men and women in all three ‘new’ institutions take both legal and illegal turns in proportion to their overall representation. The interactional details that may contribute to a more egalitarian culture in debates are characterised by flexibility and informality of proceedings and additional mechanisms to regulate the debate floor. The analysis of the debate floor also leads to the differentiation of ‘spontaneous’ and ‘allocated’ turns in debates and allows an analysis of the effects of having different proportions of these types of turns in institutions. I conclude that although some gains have been made in relation to increasing the numbers and participation of women in the new devolved parliaments, women politicians still identify the main barrier to their progress in politics as their high visibility in the media, sexism and the negative effects of gender stereotyping.
One reform considered for increasing voter turnout rates is to lower the voting age to 16 years old. Advocates of such a reform argue that young people would vote for the first time while they are still in school and living with their parents, which would provide a social context that is supportive of their electoral participation. However, opponents argue that 16- and 17-year-olds are not mature enough to take part in elections. Using data from a 2018 Quebec election survey that included a subsample of individuals aged 16 and 17, this study provides mixed evidence for both arguments.
A growing body of literature examines how direct or vicarious contact with forms of state surveillance affects political behavior and perceptions of government legitimacy. We develop a new method, Portals, to collect conversations between black residents from highly policed areas in five different U.S. cities between 2016 and 2018. While existing research emphasizes how interactions with the carceral state are alienating and demobilizing, our analysis of these conversations identifies productive ways in which citizens respond to oppressive encounters with police. The political discourses used by Portals participants, we argue, are centered on a logic of “collective autonomy”—given police ignorance, abuses of police authority, and the little political power that residents of highly policed communities have to demand change, many conclude that power is best achieved by strategically distancing from state institutions in the short term while building community power in the long term. Crucially, articulations of collective autonomy transcend the ideological positions of participants and track closely with an ideological tradition in black politics that persists across generations and contexts of state oppression.
Many have depicted a steady rise in lifestyle politics. Individuals are increasingly using everyday life choices about consumption, transportation, or modes of living to address political, environmental, or ethical issues. While celebrated by some as an expansion of political participation, others worry this trend may be detrimental for democracy, for instance, by reducing citizens to consumers. Implicit in this common critique is the notion that lifestyle politics will replace, rather than coexist with or lead to, other forms of political participation. We provide the first detailed longitudinal analysis to test these hypotheses. Using unique panel data from 1538 politically active individuals from the Flemish region of Belgium (2017–18), we demonstrate that over time, lifestyle politics functions as a gateway into institutionalized and non-institutionalized modes of political participation and that this relationship is mediated by individuals’ increased political concerns.