POWER AND INFLUENCE-BASED POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN EUROPEAN DEMOCRACIES
In this article, we analyse issues related to political participation from the perspective of sociological theory. The key argument is based on a theoretical framework distinguishing clearly between power and influence. We employ Talcott Parsons' theory of steering media and use it as a base on which to build a classification of forms of political participation. We show that with the development of a society, power-based political participation is not being replaced by influence-based political participation. Instead, in developed societies, the number of active citizens increases, and they tend to use more of both power-based and influence-based forms of political participation. Based on our classification of the forms of political participation, we examine a set of quantitative indicators using a hierarchical cluster analysis in order to explore differences and similarities among EU members as regards the use of power or influence-based forms of political participation.
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