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
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
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.