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Political Participation. A passive citizenry?. Political Participation. ``actions undertaken by ordinary citizens that are intended, directly or indirectly, to influence the selection of government personnel and/or the policy decisions they make”. In Liberal Democracies.

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political participation

Political Participation

A passive citizenry?

political participation2
Political Participation
  • ``actions undertaken by ordinary citizens that are intended, directly or indirectly, to influence the selection of government personnel and/or the policy decisions they make”
in liberal democracies
In Liberal Democracies
  • Voting in elections is only one of the activities of political participation.
  • Institutional context, especially the party system, has a clear impact on electoral or other forms of political participation.
totalitarian model of political participation
Totalitarian Model of Political Participation
  • Citizens were involved in politics only when mobilized by the party-state to implement policies already made.
  • The author of ``Political Participation in the USSR" (1979) suggested that his book might as well be subtitled ``How and why do Soviet politics involve the people?"
in mainland china
In Mainland China
  • From ``mobilized” political participation to ``optional” political participation”
political participation in communist china 1967
``Political Participation in Communist China” (1967)
  • ``mass line” emphasizes direct contact between cadres and masses as the surest means of eliciting popular participation and keeping political leaders in touch with popular demands
  • In broadest terms, Communist mobilization of the masses has politicized an apolitical population.
citizens and groups in contemporary china 1987
``Citizens and Groups in Contemporary China” (1987)
  • ``Chinese citizens do in fact regularly pursue their interests with a repertoire of tactics tailored to these constraints”
political participation in rural china 1988
``Political Participation in Rural China” (1988)
  • In general, males, with ``good" class origins and some education, who were strong, skilled, and in their working prime, participated at higher rates.
participatory activities in mainland china
Participatory Activities in Mainland China
  • Some common political activities in a democracy, such as donations for opposition parties or voting for government leaders, do not exist.
  • Other forms of activities, like reporting to the ``letters and visits offices" or utilizing patron-client relations, would be rare in a liberal democracy.
  • Complain through the bureaucratic hierarchy
  • Complain through political organizations
  • Complain through the trade unions
  • Complain through deputies to local people’s congresses
adversarial activities
Adversarial activities
  • Write letters to newspaper editors
  • Write letters to government officials at higher levels
  • Complain through the ``letters and visits” bureaus
  • Use connections
  • Send gifts to bureaucrats in exchange for help
  • Slow-down on the job
  • Whip up public opinion in work units against leaders
  • Organize a group of people to fight against leaders
  • Strike
  • Participate in demonstration
  • Sue bureaucrats in court
political participation in beijing shi 1999
Political Participation in Beijing (Shi 1999)
  • Peculiarities about Beijing:
    • Capital of the PRC
    • Per capita GDP US$3,060 (2001)
    • 61 institutions of higher education, with total enrollment of 340,000
    • 2,328,000 residents have had at least some college education
    • 1.28 million CCP members
explanatory variables of political participation
Explanatory variables of political participation
  • Education
  • Political interest
  • Political efficacy
  • Political knowledge
  • Civic skills
  • Party mobilization
political efficacy
Political efficacy
  • Internal efficacy: beliefs about one’s own competence to understand and participate in politics
  • External efficacy: beliefs about the responsiveness of governmental authorities and institutions to citizen demands
shi s findings in beijing
Shi’s findings in Beijing
  • General level of education increased from 1988 to 1996
  • People became more concerned with politics and governmental affairs
  • Internal efficacy became stronger
  • Frequency and intensity of political activism increased
shi s findings in beijing20
Shi’s findings in Beijing
  • Both adversarial activities and protest increased substantially between 1988 and 1996
  • Government activity and education became increasingly important in influencing the level and intensity of political participation
shi 1999 s conclusion
Shi (1999)’s Conclusion
  • Beijing residents have become more politically sophisticated and more assertive in the articulation of their interests
compared with tw hk
Compared with TW & HK
  • traditional orientation
    • moral government
    • moral leader
    • state precedes over individual
    • elitism (better educated)
    • paternalism
    • stability above pluralism
traditional orientation
Traditional orientation
  • People with traditional orientation tend to be:
    • less educated
    • older
    • living in villages and towns
    • employed in blue-collar jobs
  • fairly consistent across the 3 societies
effect on political participation
Effect on political participation
  • education is a most important factor
  • the impact of political interest is far more pronounced in TW & HK
  • Party membership in ML
  • HK: more individually-based
  • traditional orientation has the least influence