Citizens increasingly engage with political issues in new ways by addressing politicians via social media, campaigning at international forums, or boycotting corporate entities. These forms of engagement move beyond more regulated electoral politics and are rightly celebrated for the ways they increase representation and provide new channels of accountability. Yet, despite these virtues, political engagement beyond voting inevitably tends to entrench and amplify inequality in citizen influence on political decision-making. The tendency toward inequality undermines relational equality between citizens and muddies the channels of political accountability and responsibility. This article unpacks the ostensible tension and argues that it reveals to us another strength in views which hold the state to be citizens’ collective project and provides argumentative resources to motivate democracies to give due attention to ensuring that democratic participatory channels remain fit for purpose in an ever-changing society.
Conceptualizing Everyday Political Engagement
Matthew Flinders and Matthew Wood
Existing research on alternative forms of political participation does not adequately account for why those forms of participation at an “everyday” level should be defined as political. In this article we aim to contribute new conceptual and theoretical depth to this research agenda by drawing on sociological theory to posit a framework for determining whether nontraditional forms of political engagement can be defined as genuinely distinctive from traditional participation. Existing “everyday politics” frameworks are analytically underdeveloped, and the article argues instead for drawing upon Michel Maffesoli’s theory of “neo-tribal” politics. Applying Maffesoli’s insights, we provide two questions for operationally defining “everyday” political participation, as expressing autonomy from formal political institutions, and building new political organizations from the bottom up. This creates a substantive research agenda of not only operationally defining political participation, but examining how traditional governmental institutions and social movements respond to a growth in everyday political participation: nexus politics.
Making Sense of the Digital Political Landscape and Assessing the Potential for Mobilization versus Apathy
). However, this idea of decline is largely based on traditional conceptions of political engagement ( Strømsnes 2009 ) and neglects more individual-based or non-constitutional approaches to politics, such as political activism (e.g., protests or
David McIvor’s Mourning in America and Simon Stow’s American Mourning
Greta Fowler Snyder
What does a democratically-productive form of mourning look like in America? David McIvor’s Mourning in America and Simon Stow’s American Mourning argue that it entails the embrace of ambivalence about self and other. Democratically-productive mourning pushes against the tendencies toward idealization and demonization. Embracing ambivalence enables us to move to more effective political engagement in the context of both collaboration and conflict. It allows us to understand that the process of mourning must be ongoing both to protect us from political excesses to which we are prone and to push society toward justice.
Issues, strategies, and the public debate
This article examines the political engagement of Latin Americans in the UK in the context of a mounting neo-assimilationist and anti-multicultural offensive in the public debate on integration. Assuming that migrants should have a say about their own integration in society, the article explores the extent to which the public debate is sensitive to migrants' own collective concerns. It is from this empirically informed perspective that the article criticizes assimilationist and multi-culturalist attitudes for their disregard of the exploitation and lack of social and cultural recognition that afflicts newly arrived migrants. The article helps to rebalance the prevailing trend in policy and academic circles to treat migrants as objects of policies and ignore their political agency and active collective engagement in the improvement of their conditions. It also offers a corrective to emerging alternative approaches that tend to reduce migrants' politics to their role in sustaining long-distance diasporic communities.
Nancy L. Thomas
Across the U.S.A, everyday citizens, civic leaders, policy makers, and educators are experimenting with inclusive, deliberative approaches to addressing social, economic, and political issues. Some academics and civic leaders describe this renewal in citizen engagement as a movement, a significant, transformative shift in the way we interact with each other to solve public problems, strengthen communities and 'do' democracy. Colleges and universities need to take stock of the movement towards a more deliberative democracy and adapt their programmes and activities to fit what democratic societies need today. Many campuses already offer programmes in inclusive dialogue, deliberative public reasoning, justice and other Constitutional values, democratic leadership and conflict management. Many faculty members use democratic teaching methods. These can serve as helpful models. For all colleges and universities, the challenge is to get to scale, to teach all students - not just a few in particular disciplines or co-curricular activities - to serve as effective citizens in an increasingly diverse, deliberative democracy.
The Dynamics of Political Alienation
Gerry Stoker and Mark Evans
Contemporary political scientists have observed a democratic paradox that has crystallized around the disconnection between how citizens imagine their democracy and how politics is practiced. Citizens continue to believe in the values of liberal democracy but are increasingly disillusioned with how their political systems work and the politics that are practiced in the name of democracy. This article revisits the root causes of political alienation to better understand this democratic paradox. It provides both a conceptual understanding of political alienation and its domain of action and insights into how the concept can be operationalized and measured in empirical research. It argues that while democracy itself may not be in crisis, the politics on which its operation rests is in peril.
Dan W. Butin, John Craig, Erin M. Sergison, and Ellen E. Gutman
Craig A. Rimmerman (ed.) (2009) Service-Learning and the Liberal Arts: How and Why It Works Review by Dan W. Butin
David Watson (2007) Managing Civic and Community Engagement Review by John Craig
Anne Colby, Elizabeth Beaumont, Thomas Ehrlich and Josh Corngold (2007) Educating for Democracy: Preparing Undergraduates for Responsible Political Engagement Review by Erin M. Sergison
Russell J. Dalton (2008) The Good Citizen: How a Younger Generation is Reshaping American Politics Review by Ellen E. Gutman
Un exemple d’apolitisme militant ?
How do purist Salafist communities frame the issue of politics? Known to display a reluctance towards political engagement and activism, unlike Islamists and Jihadists, purist Salafists, especially those who live within a non-Muslim-majority country such as France, highlight that Islam has nothing to do with classical political activism. Consequently, a major issue that needs to be examined is how purist Salafists reconcile their desires to preach and shape society through a process of public involvement and their efforts to refrain from engaging with political institutions. This article explores to what extent the notion of militant apoliticism is useful in describing this strategy of public engagement.
A Case Study of the Anglo-Scottish Union
This article examines the political engagement of three Scottish women—Anne Hamilton, Duchess of Hamilton; Katherine Hamilton, Duchess of Atholl; and Katherine Skene, Lady Murray—during the negotiations that led to the 1707 Anglo-Scottish Union. The letters of these women reveal an active female involvement in Scottish politics during the pivotal debates over Union with England. They also serve to demonstrate the importance of family-based power among the landed elites in early modern Scottish politics. Challenging the continued absence of women from early modern Scottish political histories, this article argues that women, exemplied by the three discussed here, must be incorporated into political history if we want to fully understand the history of the Scottish nation.