Political participation
Continuity and change
in The search for democratic renewal
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This chapter offers empirical accounts of how citizens in Britain and Australia actually engage with the state, with a focus on continuity and change in the patterns of political support and political participation. It examines dimensions of political participation in both Britain and Australia. The chapter outlines some competing ideas of why citizens participate and how much participation is taking place. It focuses on the sociology of participation, which sheds light on who is participating. Membership of a political party is a key indicator of political participation. Party membership is notoriously difficult to measure, because political parties are usually reluctant to publicise their numbers, so estimates can only be proxy indicators. The chapter considers the overall patterns and trends in political participation and support, and the implications of these for Labour governments' attempts to find new mechanisms for citizen input and engagement.

The search for democratic renewal

The politics of consultation in Britain and Australia

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