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Stolle, D., Hooghe, M. (2009). Shifting Inequalities? Patterns of Exclusion and Inclusion in Emerging Forms of Political Participation. WZB Discussion paper 2009-204

Previous research has found a steady increase in the number of people involved in emerging forms of civic engagements such as Internet campaigns, protests, political consumerism, and alternative lifestyle communities. Verba et al. (1995) have established that various forms of political participation in the United States follow a pattern of structural inequality, based on income, education, gender and civic skills. The growing popularity of emerging action repertoires forces us to re-evaluate the claims of this literature. Do these patterns of inequality persist for the emerging action repertoires across advanced industrialized democracies, or are they becoming even stronger, as Theda Skocpol (2003, 2004) argues? The results of this cross-national analysis with longitudinal comparisons suggest that gender inequalities in emerging political action repertoires have substantially declined since the 1970s, whereas other forms of inequality have persisted. However, contrary to the more pessimistic claims about a ‘participation paradox’, there is no evidence that inequality based on socio-economic status has substantially increased since the 1970s.


Stolle, Dietlind

Dietlind Stolle is Associate Professor in Political Science at McGill University, Montréal, Canada. She conducts research and has published on voluntary associations, trust, institutional foundations of social capital, ethnic-racial diversity and its consequences on social cohesion, and...

Hooghe, Mark

Marc Hooghe is a Professor of Political Science at the Catholic University of Leuven, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Belgium, professeur invité à l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques/Université Lille-II (France) and invited professor of the Universität Darmstadt (...

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