Unconventional Participation in Time of Crisis: How Ideology Shapes Citizens’ Political Actions


Abstract


Since democracy requires the involvement of citizens, the topic of political participation has attracted great attention from both practitioners and scholars. During the current financial and economic crisis, there have been various protest movements in many European countries. In this paper, which employs data from the European Social Survey and analyzes some European countries using a longitudinal study (2002-2012), I measure unconventional political participation considering three types of action - signed a petition, participated in a lawful demonstration and joined a boycott. By linking citizens to government ideology and vote for party government to political action through a multilevel model, this paper argues that both ideology and citizens’ electoral choices have a bearing on unconventional political participation. In times of crisis, government choices do not feed the level of unconventional political participation. However, differences emerge in terms of political behavior when I consider citizens’ ideology, loser status and government ideology.

Keywords: Ideology; Economic crisis; Europe; Loser status; Unconventional political participation

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