Political Participation in a Digital Age

Authors: Lilleker, D.G.

Pages: 151-176

DOI: 10.1057/9781137313430_9


Political participation has traditionally been conceptualised into four dimensions (Verba & Nie, 1972; Verba et al., 1995): firstly, voting in local and national elections; secondly, campaign activities, including persuading others, attending meetings or donating to a party; thirdly, contacting local, state, and national officials or politicians; and fourthly and finally, cooperative activities, those involving group or organisational activities such as trade unions or pressure group work including demonstrations. Each clearly has their own set of motivations. More recently, McLeod et al. (1999) have introduced an additional dimension of participatory behaviour, which was labelled ‘non-traditional forms of participation.’ This category of participation was initially described as participation within public forums organised by civic journalism movements or community groups. McLeod et al. developed a measure for non-traditional participation that involved a combined index of willingness to participate or speak out at public forums, both with and without pressure from people who hold different opinions. More recently a study among web users found alongside the original dimensions of offline participation (Verba et al., 1995) a range of activities that involved engaging with information on weblogs and microblogs, participation within websites or forums as well as activities within social networks such as Facebook (Koc-Michalska et al., 2013).

Source: Scopus