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Democratic Phoenix
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  • 30 b/w illus. 1 map 45 tables
  • Page extent: 308 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.48 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521010535 | ISBN-10: 0521010535)

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$36.99 (P)

Conventional wisdom suggests that citizens in many countries have become disengaged from traditional political participation. Commentators highlight warning signs of sagging electoral turnout, rising anti-party sentiment, and the decay of civic organizations. But are these concerns justified? This book compares systematic evidence in nearly two hundred countries worldwide and suggests reasons for questioning assumptions of decline. Not only is the obituary for older forms of political activism premature, but new forms of modern civic engagement may be emerging.


List of tables; List of figures; Preface; Introduction: 1. The decline and fall of political activism?; 2. Theories of political activism; Part I. The Puzzle of Electoral Turnout: 3. Mapping turnout; 4. Do institutions matter?; 5. Who votes?; Part II. Political Parties: 6. Mapping party activism; 7. Who joins?; Part III. Social Capital and Civic Society: 8. Social capital and civic society; 9. Traditional mobilising agencies: unions and churches; 10. New social movements, protest politics and the internet; 11. Conclusions: the reinvention of political activism?; Appendix: comparative framework; Notes; Select bibliography; Index.

Prize Winner

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2003


"....[Norris's] arguments are cogent, theoretically rigorous, and backed by the best available data in the field. An elegantly written and important book. Highly recommended." Choice

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