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Resilience, self-efficacy and political participation

Andrea Chmitorz (), Claudia Landwehr (), Arndt Leininger (), Thomas Schroeter and Oliver Tüscher ()
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Andrea Chmitorz: Esslingen University
Claudia Landwehr: Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany
Arndt Leininger: University of Berlin
Thomas Schroeter: Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany
Oliver Tüscher: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany

No 2010, Working Papers from Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

Abstract: 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.

Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2020-04-21
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
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