Who is willing to participate, and how?

This paper [PDF] draws on a new survey of British citizens to test the hypothesis that there are two quite distinctive types of attitude prevalent among those who are ‘disaffected’ with politics, the ‘dissatisfied democratic’ and ‘stealth democratic’ orientations, the former being more widespread in the UK. While neither manifests a high level of trust for the political elite, the dissatisfied democratic citizen is politically interested, efficacious and desires greater political participation, while the contrary is generally true of the stealth democrat. However, although stealth democrats are unwilling to engage in most forms of participation or deliberation, they are ambiguous about direct democracy, which can be attributed to the populist nature of stealth democratic attitudes.

By Paul Webb, University of Sussex, 2012.

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