In this article the authors describe what forms of political participation, outside the electoral process, the populations of twenty-one European countries tend to employ and to what degree. They identify three types of non-electoral political participation: active-conventional, active-demonstrational, and passive participation. Overall non-electoral political participation is considerably lower in the post-communist and Mediterranean countries than in the Western European and Scandinavian countries. In the latter countries the passive type of political participation is clearly a much stronger form of participation than the other two types. Conversely, in the Mediterranean countries passive participation is weaker and is exceeded in places by the active-conventional type of participation. The Mediterranean area is also notable for the unusually strong presence of the active-demonstrational type of participation. The authors also examine the social micro and macro-conditions related to these three types of political participation. In conclusion they attempt to address the question of whether there is a connection between political activity and satisfaction with the way democracy works.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.