Political participation and three theories of democracy: A research inventory and agenda

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Abstract

This article proposes an agenda for political participation research aimed at providing empirical answers to questions derived from normative political theory. Based on a threefold distinction between responsive, participatory and deliberative models of democracy, the article first distinguishes three conceptions of political participation: as influencing attempts, as direct decision making, and as political discussion. Second, it is argued that each of the three models is associated with different desired consequences of political participation: equal protection of interests, self-development and subjective legitimacy. Third, a procedural standard is identified from which to evaluate the mechanism generating the three types of participation. By analogy with theories of distributive justice, this mechanism should be sensitive to incentives but insensitive to resources. The empirical questions thus implied are finally drawn together into an integrated agenda for future participation studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-810
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Research
Volume45
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science

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