Political Participation and Democracy in Britain
Why do some people involve themselves in politics and others not? Which issues are they concerned with? What do they get out of it? Answering such questions is fundamental to understanding political life and the workings of liberal democracies. This book presents the results of one of the most extensive surveys ever undertaken on the levels and patterns of political involvement in Britain. It is based on the findings of a sample survey of nearly 1,600 people across England, Scotland and Wales as well as a further 1,600 men and women and nearly 300 leaders in six specially selected and contrasting communities. These people were asked about the extent to which they had taken political action, particularly at a local level, and the authors found higher levels of participation than previous research has revealed. They analyse these findings in terms of age, gender, social class and education and look at the reactions of local leaders to the efforts people make to influence them.
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The study of participation and its political context
Patterns of political participation
Who are the political activists?
Agendas and political action
Do participants get what they want? The costs and benefits
Learning from political participation
The local political scene
for other ties and individual resources
controlling for other ties and individual resources
and individual resources
Party and values
Local elites activists and agendas
Participation and the making of the local agendas
The quality of local participation
across local issues all localities together
Participation and democracy in Britain
Appendix A Survey methods
Study sample sizes and response rates
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activists activity adjusted agenda amongst analysis appear association average Beta Britain chapter citizens clearly collective action committed compared concern Conservative contacting controlling cynicism direct action economic effect efficacy effort elections elite evidence example extent fact factors figure further greater half higher housing important included individual influence interests involved issues Labour leaders least less levels localities look major matter mean measure membership modes nearly organisational overall participation participation participatory particular party party campaigning pattern Penrhiwceiber perhaps points political political action political participation population positive possible problems protest question rates reflect relationship relatively remains reported responses sample scale score sector seen sense shows significant social Spotland strong suggests taken trades types unemployment union values voting wealth whole women young