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Resilience, self-efficacy and political participation

  • The large gap in political participation between well-educated and wealthy citizens on the one hand and less educated and poorer citizens, on the other hand, has in recent years gained new attention. Several authors argue that unequal participation leads to unequal political representation and responsiveness and results in policy decisions that are tilted against the interests of disadvantaged groups, thus further increasing inequality. This paper takes a different starting point by turning the old question why people do not participate in politics around and asking why people participate. We hypothesize that enduring engagement with politics requires individuals to be resilient in the face of frustration and to possess strong, perhaps even delusional, efficacy beliefs. Using data from the German GESIS Panel we demonstrate positive correlations between individual resilience, internal and external efficacy, and political participation. We conclude by pointing to the possibility that resilience and efficacy beliefs help privileged groups to overcome collective action problems to achieve disproportionate influence on political decisions and point to avenues for further research.

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Author:A. Chmitorz, C. Landwehr, A. Leininger, T. Schroeter, O. Tüscher
Parent Title (English):Gutenberg School of Management and Economics & Research Unit „Interdisciplinary Public Policy“ Discussion Paper Series
Publisher:Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Place of publication:Mainz
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2020
Release Date:2021/01/26
Page Number:21
Open Access?:nur im Hochschulnetz
Relevance:Keine peer reviewed Publikation (Wissenschaftlicher Artikel und Aufsatz, Proceeding, Artikel in Tagungsband)
Licence (German):License LogoVeröffentlichungsvertrag ohne Print-on-Demand