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Processes Influencing Democratic Ownership and Participation (PIDOP)
Start date: May 1, 2009, End date: Apr 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project will examine the processes which influence democratic ownership and participation in eight European states. It will draw on the disciplines of Politics, Sociology, Social Policy, Psychology and Education to examine macro-level contextual factors (including historical, political, electoral, economic and policy factors), proximal social factors (including familial, educational and media factors) and psychological factors (including motivational, cognitive, attitudinal and identity factors) which facilitate and/or inhibit civic and political engagement and participation. The research will be ground-breaking in incorporating the psychology of the individual citizen within its scope, and it will be distinctive in addressing the psychological processes through which political, societal and social factors have their effects upon citizens’ civic and political engagement and participation. Young people, women, minorities and migrants will be examined as four specific groups at risk of political disengagement. The research will focus on the differences, as well as the overlap, between civic and political engagement, and on both direct and representative participation. An innovative multi-level process model of civic and political engagement and participation will be constructed, which will explain how and why different forms and interpretations of democratic ownership and participation develop or are hampered amongst citizens living in different European countries and contexts, with particular attention being paid to the relevant phenomena at regional, national and EU levels. Appropriate stakeholders at regional, national and EU levels will be involved in all stages of the work, to ensure that the research addresses issues of direct concern to these stakeholders, and to ensure that the policy implications and recommendations which emerge from the research meet the needs of these stakeholders and are disseminated appropriately to them.
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