Deprivation and non-institutional political participation: Analyzing the relationship between deprivation, institutional trust and political activism in Europe

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This article examines how the relationship between perceived economic deprivation (PED) and non-institutional forms of political activity interacted with institutional trust during the economic crisis in 24 European countries. Using multi-level regression analysis, two broad questions are addressed: (1) does PED have an impact on the level of non-institutional political participation among European citizens? And (2) does the level of institutional trust within countries have an impact on the relationship between PED and political activity among European citizens? The empirical analyses are based on data from the European Social Survey Round Five 2010. Two important conclusions can be drawn. First, on the aggregate level, countries suffering from a high level of PED display fewer instances of non-institutional forms of political activity than countries with a low level of PED, while we find the opposite correlation on an individual level within the countries. Second, the analysis provides evidence that the institutional context shapes the connection between PED and political participation on the individual level. In countries with a high level of institutional trust, economically deprived citizens seem more prone to engage in non-institutional forms of political activity.
Original languageEnglish
Journal European Politics and Society
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)428-445
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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