Rowman and Littlefield International
Political Participation in France and Germany

Political Participation in France and Germany

Edited by Oscar W. Gabriel, Silke I. Keil, and Eric Kerrouche

Publication Date: Jul 2012

Pages 330

ECPR Press

Hardback 9781907301315
£65.00 €90.00 $100.00
Paperback 9781907301834
£30.00 €41.00 $46.00

How do France and Germany compare in the world of participatory political communities? This volume sets out an impressive historical, theoretical and institutional framework for a comprehensive, comparative and empirical analysis of the forms, patterns, trends and determinants of citizen participation in two of Europe's largest democracies. Written by an international team of political scientists, it starts with an outline of the participatory traditions in both countries before turning to the theoretical foundations of empirical research regarding the role of political participation in modern democracies. It provides an overview of how the perception of political participation has changed over the years and the forms of both conventional participation, particularly with regard to electoral participation, and unconventional participation like protest and other new forms of citizen involvement are analysed in detail. Exploring new approaches in participation research, social participation is seen as not just correlating with political participation, but as a specific form of civic engagement in itself. A broad range of activities, such as electoral and party related participation, political protest, participation in voluntary associations, voting in referenda and taking part in dialogue-orientated participatory activities is examined and the analysis identifies which societal, institutional and cultural factors account for the differences and similarities between the two countries.


List of Figures and Tables vi

Contributors xi

Preface xv

Chapter One: Political Participation in France and Germany –

Traditions, Concepts, Measurements, Patterns and Explanations

Oscar W. Gabriel 1

Chapter Two: Mapping Political Participation

Kristina Kuhne and Oscar W. Gabriel 33

Chapter Three: Conventional Political Participation

Jürgen Bauknecht 71

Chapter Four: Local Electoral Participation

Angelika Vetter and Vincent Hoffmann-Martinot 113

Chapter Five: Local Democracy – A Comparison of Mayoral


Björn Egner and Eric Kerrouche 137

Chapter Six: Initiatives and Referendums

Christophe Premat 161

Chapter Seven: Social Participation

Silke I. Keil 189

Chapter Eight: Turnout in Parliamentary Elections

Kerstin Völkl 209

Chapter Nine: Political Protest

Emmanuel Rivat/Matthias Stauer 237

Chapter Ten: New Forms of Citizen Involvement

Ortwin Renn and Pia-Johanna Schweizer 273

Index 297

Oscar W Gabriel is a professor of political science at the University of Stuttgart, associate researcher and former visiting professor at the Institute of Political Science Bordeaux. His main research areas are political sociology and political psychology.

Silke I Keil is an assistant professor of Political Science and Political Sociology at the University of Stuttgart. She was general manager of the German Project of the European Social Survey (2006-2010). Her main research areas are political sociology, particularly political attitudes, participation, social capital and electoral behaviour.

Eric Kerrouche is a professor at the Institute d'Etudes Politiques de Bordeaux. He is part of the LEA-CODE, a cooperative project between the University of Stuttgart and the IEP to analyse European democratic systems in the context of the enhancement of the European Union. His research interests range from local politics, elected officials and terroritorial reforms to methods in social science.

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