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What is “Political” Participation

Beyond Explicit Motivations and Oppositional Actions

Sadiya Akram and David Marsh

Wood and Flinders re-center political participation on the idea of “nexus politics.” The effort is laudable because it contributes to other ongoing efforts at broadening our understanding of the nature of ‘political’ participation. Unfortunately, in our view, the authors misspecify new forms of political participation that have emerged by: (1) failing to take Henrik Bang’s work seriously; (2) focusing exclusively on motivation/intention, so that an action is “political,” only if the person acting sees it as “political”; (3) seeing all political participation as necessarily oppositional.

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Wolfgang Merkel and Jean-Paul Gagnon

’t. Because to caress, nurse, care, guard, be excited for, and love something means to understand that thing. And until we can understand democracy and to look after it as part of our daily lives (here Henrik Bang’s [with Eva Sørensen 1999 ] “everyday maker