Varieties of democratic understanding and political participation: multi-level evidence from the world

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Çınar S. K. , Bülbül A.

CONTEMPORARY POLITICS, vol.28, no.4, pp.469-489, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Index Islamicus, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.469-489


This article explores the linkage between different conceptualizations of democracy and forms of political participation. Specifically, it examines the correlates of conventional and unconventional modes of political participation, especially in light of three major understandings of democracy, namely liberal, redistributive, and authoritative understandings. This article maintains that different notions of democracy have their unique relationships with different forms of political participation. The article argues that people with a predominantly liberal notion of democracy are expected to partake in both conventional and unconventional modes of political participation, whereas those with an authoritative understanding of democracy are relatively more hesitant to take part in both forms. Finally, citizens with a redistributive notion of democracy are expected to appear more in unconventional forms of political participation, such as boycotts and lawful demonstrations. We test our arguments based on a global and up-to-date dataset and a multilevel framework, which covers more than 100,000 democratic citizens across the globe.