Citizens’ Conceptions of Democracy and Political Participation in Germany

25 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2015

See all articles by Sergiu Gherghina

Sergiu Gherghina

University of Glasgow

Brigitte Geissel

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Social and Political Sciences

Date Written: April 2, 2015

Abstract

While extensive research focused on citizens’ disaffection and tools to cure the ‘democratic malaise’, very few studies paid attention to the connection between citizens’ preferences for democratic alternatives and their desire to get involved in new participatory procedures. To fill this gap and to advance the understanding of such a linkage, our paper aims to investigate how preferences of German citizens for types of democracy influence their retrospective as well as prospective involvement in political will formation and decision‐making. This paper discusses the conceptions of democracy and assesses the effects of these preferences on several types of political participation (voting, protests, referendums, deliberative procedures). Our study draws on data from a survey conducted in autumn 2014 on a probability representative sample at national level in Germany. Findings illustrate that citizens favoring representative democracy are less inclined to take part in participatory devices, whereas citizens favoring a citizen‐oriented concept of democracy are more willing to get involved in them. Those citizens who favor a more expert oriented democracy, show mixed participation intentions.

Keywords: conceptions of democracy, political participation, citizens, Germany

Suggested Citation

Gherghina, Sergiu and Geissel, Brigitte, Citizens’ Conceptions of Democracy and Political Participation in Germany (April 2, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2588474 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2588474

Sergiu Gherghina (Contact Author)

University of Glasgow ( email )

Bute Gardens
Adam Smith Building
Glasgow, G12 8RT
United Kingdom

Brigitte Geissel

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Social and Political Sciences ( email )

Department of Social and Political Sciences
Robert Mayer Strasse 5
Frankfurt am Main, 60054
Germany

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