To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
In this chapter I consider the consequences for political participation where an institutional change opens a new avenue of political action. In 2017 the City of Seattle, Washington implemented a program of Democracy Vouchers as publicly-funded campaign contributions for its citizens in city elections. I show that the institution of Democracy Vouchers has different empirical implications for three existing theories of political action than for intensity theory and present a research design and data to evaluate the different implications.
In this chapter I consider the consequences for political participation where an institutional change closes one avenue of political action. Since the early 1990s, multiple American states have ended closed party primary elections, rules that restricted participation to voters previously registered with the political party. I show that if participating in closed primaries is costly to voters, reforms to liberalize access to primary elections have different empirical implications for existing theories of political action than for intensity theory. I present a difference-in-differences research design and data to evaluate the different implications.
Sleep research presents an important frontier of discovery for political science. While sleep has largely been neglected by political scientists, human psychology is inextricably linked with sleep and so political cognition must be as well. Existing work shows that sleep is linked to political participation and ideology, and that contentious politics can disrupt sleep. I propose three directions for future research—on participatory democracy, on ideology, and on how context shapes sleep-politics links. I also note that sleep research intersects with the study of political institutions, of war and conflict, of elite decision-making, and of normative theory. In short, political scientists across subfields can and should consider whether and how sleep influences political life in their area of expertise and how to influence relevant policies. This new research agenda will enrich our theories of politics and enable us to identify pressing areas for policy interventions to revitalize our democracy.
Participatory democrats argue that citizen engagement at the local level serves an important educational function. Through involvement in participatory mechanisms, citizens develop various skills, become better informed, and cultivate a greater sense of political efficacy. There has been considerable debate in the academic literature over the extent to which participation can produce these benefits, but deliberative and participatory theoretical approaches have been criticised for neglecting power dynamics within participatory mechanisms themselves, and for overlooking structural inequalities between women and men. Numerous critics have charged that participatory mechanisms tend to mask, but not eliminate, gender inequalities, particularly in societies where these remain firmly entrenched. While the theory on the educational function of participatory democracy is well developed, there remains a lack of empirical work on the impact of participation on women in Latin America, a region that has been at the forefront of democratic innovation. Based on extensive fieldwork in Venezuela, Ecuador and Chile, this article identifies the types of skills that women gain through participation, and questions the extent to which these reproduce traditional gender roles.
This chapter complements previous ones by providing microeconomic foundations for the transition from the stagnation regime to the growth regime. These microeconomic foundations consist of a simple model of individuals choosing an education investment, subject to some budget constraints. It is shown that there exists a critical threshold for the stock of knowledge below which the individual does not invest in education, and above which the investment takes place. We then examine relations between individual decisions and the long-run dynamics of knowledge accumulation and economic development.
This chapter reverses the vicious cycle from previous chapters into a virtuous cycle of trust and government excellence. Excellent and responsive government agencies foster trusting citizen-consumers who use, advocate for, and support public services. Citizen-consumers who consume public services instead of exiting to commercial alternatives are more likely to support paying for further improvements to public services. Specifically, tap water drinkers are more likely than bottled water drinkers to support paying increased water rates to fund water infrastructure improvements. We then show how the citizen exercise of voice pushes public officials to provide higher-quality services. Although governments are not well suited to respond to citizen-consumer exit, they are designed to respond to the use of voice. Increased political participation raises the possibility of punishment for poor service delivery, incentivizing officials to keep service quality high. We find that increased electoral turnout is associated with decreases in water quality violations. Reframing the relationship between trust and public services as a virtuous cycle allows us to imagine a better way forward.
This chapter advances a theory of the citizen-consumer that connects the quality of basic services to trust in government, trust in government to consumer behavior, consumer behavior to citizen political participation, and citizen political participation back to the quality of basic services. When basic services are sound, citizens trust the institutions of government; when basic services fail, citizens distrust those same institutions. People who trust government rely on public services, whereas those who distrust government opt instead for more expensive commercial alternatives. This distrust premium is pure profit to government’s commercial competitors and is paid disproportionately by the politically marginalized. Consumers who use public services have a strong interest in safeguarding quality, so they are politically active citizens, demanding high-quality public services. Consumers who abandon public services in favor of commercial firms withdraw from political life. These distrustful, disengaged citizens demand little from government and oppose public investments. Starved of resources and attention, governments’ service quality declines and a vicious cycle of distrust ensues.
This chapter examines the relationship between moral trust in government and the choice of citizen-consumers to exercise voice and exit. We find that when faced with tap water failure, ethnic and racial minorities are less likely to voice their concerns to utilities due to their historical marginalization in the United States. This disparity in the likelihood of exercising voice is most prevalent among poor populations, with the effect especially pronounced among Hispanics. Further, we find that citizen-consumers who lack moral trust in government are more likely to consume bottled water, signifying exit from publicly provided services. Exit from public services has downstream political effects. Citizen-consumers who drink bottled water are less likely to engage in politics. As bottled water consumption increases, voting rates decrease. The consequences of declining trust in government and the turn away from public services strikes at the heart of democracy itself. When individuals do not trust government to provide basic services, there is little reason for them to engage in public life more broadly.
Sexuality and gender diversity rights in Southeast Asia are deeply controversial and vigorously contested. Debate and protest have been accompanied by both legislative reform and discriminatory violence. These contradictory dynamics are occurring at a time when the international human rights regime has explicitly incorporated a focus on the prevention of violence and discrimination in relation to sexuality and gender diversity. This Element focusses on the need for such rights. This Element explores the burgeoning of civil society organisations engaged in an emancipatory politics inclusive of sexuality and gender diversity, utilising rights politics as a platform for visibility, contestation and mobilisation. This Element focusses on the articulation of political struggle through a shared set of rights claims, which in turn relates to shared experiences of violence and discrimination, and a visceral demand and hope for change.
There are few women among China's local political leadership. Current scholarship on the topic co-locates women's political participation with the representation of other marginalized social groups. In particular, it is argued that female politicians are simply tokenistic representatives of the marginalized: female, intellectual, ethnic minority and non-Communist Party members. An examination of those women who have served in provincial leadership positions over the last two terms suggests that such a characterization is misleading. Rather, the evidence indicates that women have been appointed on the same grounds as male leaders in terms of age, education, CCP membership and experience. Gender disparities in the selection of provincial leaders are in fact considerably more nuanced and can be traced to the lack of institutionalized policies and processes as well as women's ongoing disadvantages in education, political networks and training.
Chapter 7 brings religious and racial minorities to the forefront by investigating the relationship between adherence to American religious exceptionalism and the attitudes of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOCs) and non-Christians. The premise of this chapter is that racial and religious minorities have been the victims of those championing religious exceptionalism, thus it is imperative to establish if religious and racial minorities’ adherence to American religious exceptionalism leads to outcomes that align with those in the racially and religiously dominant group. The authors establish throughout this chapter how racial and religious minorities have used the language of American religious exceptionalism to frame challenges to the status quo. Then, statistical tests are provided to examine whether and in what ways racial and religious disciples of American religious exceptionalism apply this ideology to their political attitudes and behaviors. Is it the same way as their White Christian counterparts? This chapter suggests that it is certainly not the same for those who sit at the periphery of the hypothetical church of American religious exceptionalism.
American political activism has surged recently among young citizens, particularly among women and people of color. At the same time, record numbers of women and minority candidates have been running for office. Does seeing more diverse candidates in terms of age, gender, and race propel more interest in political engagement among Generation Z, particularly women? Using a survey experiment embedded in a nationally representative survey of Generation Z citizens, we present respondents with Democratic politicians who vary based on these three criteria. Women who identify strongly with their gender express greater political engagement when presented with any candidate who does not fit the stereotypical image of a politician (older, white, male). They are spurred not only by role models who represent them descriptively, but by all politicians belonging to historically marginalized groups. These effects, which are not specific to just Democratic women, provide insights that can inform engagement efforts targeting younger Americans.
The conclusion summarizes the book’s findings and discusses its implications. It begins by outlining the overarching lesson from the book (the importance of everyday experiences and concrete motivations for political participation). It then develops this general point into four specific principles applicable to research on other instances of social mobilization. First, habits may be as important for long-term participation as the alignment between personal beliefs and organizational ideologies. Second, activists’ experiences inside and outside of a social movement should be assigned the same explanatory value. Third, social movement scholars must expand their toolkits by borrowing concepts from outside their specific field. Finally, both divergence and conformity with tradition can promote activism. The chapter closes by showing how studying cases like the piqueteros can generate insight about current challenges to democracy in Latin America and the World. Analyzing the complexity of grassroots experiences in the Global South has the potential to challenge established ideas about civic engagement and political participation.
Inequalities in voter participation between groups of the population pose a problem for democratic representation. We use administrative data on 6.7 million registered voters to show that a previously-ignored characteristic of voters—access to a personal automobile—creates large disparities in in-person voting rates. Lack of access to a car depresses election day voter turnout by substantively large amounts across a variety of fixed-effects models that account for other environmental and voter characteristics. Car access creates the largest hindrance to voting for those people who live farther from the polls. These effects do not appear for absentee voting, suggesting a simple policy solution to solve large disparities in political participation. This study contributes to the theoretic understanding of political participation as well as the impact of potential policy reforms to solve participatory gaps.
The School Strike for Climate campaign led to public discussion about children’s political participation. Children are generally excluded from formal political systems, however this campaign challenges mainstream attitudes that children are not sufficiently competent to participate in politics. This paper presents an analysis of Australian mainstream media representations of adult responses to the School Strike for Climate events held in Australia in March 2019. When analysed against theories of childhood, two primary narratives are reflected in what adults said about children’s participation in the campaign. Anticipatory narratives focus on children appropriately developing into adults, and are represented by the notion that strikers should be in school, be punished for missing school, and are ‘just kids’ who should not be listened to. Protectionist narratives seek to shelter children from adult matters, suggesting strikers were brainwashed and raising welfare concerns. Neither of these narratives regard children as citizens capable of political voice, despite these children acting prefiguratively to create a world in which their civic participation is valued. Social movement theories of prefiguration are also explored in this paper, providing a counter argument to suggestions that children have no political agency and should be excluded from activism and discussions regarding climate change.
Here, we dive into the details of RCT in order to contrast it with the ideas encapsulated by BPS. What is rational political behavior? We discuss the basic assumptions of the RCT model, especially regarding the cognitive abilities and motivations that people use when making complex decisions about abstract topics such as public policy preferences and voting. BPS diverges from RCT in two critical ways: it is process-oriented, and incorporates known limits on the cognitive abilities of both citizens and elites into models of political behavior, and 2) it explains motivations behind preferences, especially those distinct from material or economic self-interest. We interrogate whether standard RCT assumptions are plausible, such as whether voters can adequately collect and weigh all the information relevant to a political choice in their heads simultaneously, why citizens turn out to vote when their potential to impact the outcome of an election is infinitesimal, or the public’s willingness to support costly anti-terror policies even if the likelihood of a serious attack is vanishingly small.
This paper examines the context-dependent role of race as a predictor of non-electoral political participation. Prior country-level studies have documented group-level differences in a variety of forms of participation in South Africa and the United States, but have found few to no differences in Brazil. Why are members of one group more engaged in certain political activities than members of other groups only in specific contexts? Why do members of socioeconomically deprived groups, such as non-Whites, participate more than better-off groups in acts that require group mobilization in South Africa and the United States but not in Brazil? Results from the World Values Survey and the International Social Survey Programme show that Blacks and Coloureds in South Africa and Blacks in the United States participate more than Whites in activities that demand prior organization and mobilization, whereas group differences are negligible in Brazil. I argue that (1) race as a driver of political mobilization is conditional on the existence of politicized racial identities; (2) members of groups that share a strong collective identity participate in direct political action more than predicted by their socioeconomic background; (3) politicization of identities is the product of racial projects that deploy the state apparatus to enforce group boundaries for the implementation of segregationist policies as well as the reactions against them; and (4) by enforcing group boundaries, those systems unintentionally create the conditions for the formation of politicized group identities. In the absence of such requisites, political mobilization along racial lines would be weak or nonexistent.
The extant social movement literature tends to regard the youth as radical actors and senior citizens as conservative actors. However, the Anti-Extradition Bill Movement in Hong Kong exhibited strong solidarity among protesters across generations, despite the radicalization of protest actions over an extended period. These phenomena contradict Hong Kong's traditional political culture, which favors peaceful and orderly protests and the worldwide trend where radicalization often leads to internal division in movements. By analyzing the data collected from onsite protest surveys in December 2019 and January 2020 (N = 1,784), this paper presents the mediating role of guilt in shifting senior citizens from opposing radical actions to supporting them and feeling solidarity with militant protesters. We find that the relationship between age and feelings of guilt is stronger among respondents who experience state repression. The findings shed light on the affective and relational dimensions of protest participation, showing how the traumatic conditions under which different social actors are welded together by shared emotional upheavals facilitate ingroup identification and affective solidarity.
The story of this chapter is that when it comes to local engagement, the decline of local news affects the political behavior of citizens across the spectrum very similarly. The growing scarcity of reporting about local government has led to growing disengagement among Americans of all stripes.
At a time when political observers worry – justifiably – about the health of the US’ national political institutions, threats to local democratic governance cannot be ignored. The local news media – by providing accurate information to citizens about what is happening in city halls, county governments, school boards, and other local political institutions throughout the country – constitute a vital link in the democratic process. Political representation and government effectiveness thus depend on reinvigorating the local news media and the citizen engagement that goes along with it. It can be done, but without a collective effort by citizens, journalists, and groups committed to strengthening local journalism, the long-term health of American democracy may be in peril.