Crisis of democracy? Recognising the democratic potential of alternative forms of political participation

Brendan McCAFFRIE, Sadiya AKRAM

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    According to the mainstream literature on political participation, declining rates of voting and party and interest group membership reflect a crisis of democracy in Western democracies. In this article, we challenge this view by highlighting the rise of alternative forms of political participation that operate outside formal arenas. We suggest that the mainstream approach ignores such forms of political participation for two reasons: First, it operates with a narrow arena definition of politics; second, it is based on the assumption that non-participation in arena politics results from political apathy. We suggest that there is not a crisis of political participation, but there is a growing crisis in engagement resulting from an uncoupling between citizens and the state. Halting this form of democratic decline through a recoupling process will require changes on the part of governments and citizens.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-55
    Number of pages9
    JournalDemocratic Theory
    Volume1
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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