David Chief

Voting, protesting? One, both or neither?

POLPART - How citizens influence politics

This project aims to examine political participation across new and older democracies.

It is especially concerned to understand what motivates individuals to participate in formal and informal kinds of politics, in other words, voting and protest.

Which issues encourage engagement?

What is the relationship between different forms of political participation?

The project is particularly interested in providing insights which might help stem the rising tide of dissatisfaction with formal avenues of participation. Fewer people than ever vote, or join political parties: do these people join protests instead? If so, why? Understanding how and why people take part in politics is important, as it can help us to build more democratic societies.

The project is co-ordinated by Bert Klandermans at the VU-University, Amsterdam, with collaborators in - apart from the UK - the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Brazil and Argentina.

The project began in October 2013, and will end in September 2018.

Principal researchers

Professor Clare Saunders, from the ESI, is the lead team member of the UK case; the project will involve team members in eight countries, and at least ten junior PhD researchers.

Grants and funding

The project is funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant.