Political efficacy and participation
An empirical analysis in European countries
The active participation of citizens is the lifeblood of any functioning democracy.
But what drives people’s willingness to participate in political life? A key driver
is their self-perception of their ability to understand political processes and to
influence change through their action. These attitudes also determine people’s level
of trust in government, making it a cornerstone of research and work on trust. In
a context of increasing concerns regarding democratic legitimacy and decreasing levels
of political participation, this paper aims to analyse empirically to what extent
people’s attitudes towards their ability to influence and engage in political life
– or their “political efficacy” - affect their political behaviour, including different
forms of participation. A better understanding of political attitudes can help governments
anticipate democratic deficits and develop strategies to improve political efficacy
and promote participation.
Available from June 16, 2021
In series:OECD Working Papers on Public Governanceview more titles