A Cross-National Comparison of the Patterns of Civic Participation: Worldwide Convergence, National Divergence, or Enduring Influences of Cultural Repertoire?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 16:15
Location: Seminarraum 5C G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Takeshi WADA, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Yoojin KOO, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Kayo HOSHINO, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Recent studies on globalization and modularity predict that deepening globalization generates a great deal of uniformity of action forms worldwide, exemplified as expanding democratization and conventional forms of civic participation (e.g. voting, lobbying, petitioning, organizing interest groups). In contrast, researches on regime and contentious politics argue that patterns of civic participation differ considerably by country even in the era of globalization because political regime characteristics, such as state strength and degree of democracy, still affect civil actors’ selection of action forms (i.e. violence—e.g. riots, civil wars—under weak authoritarian regimes; protests—e.g. strike, street demonstration, boycotting—under semi-democracies; conventional forms under strong democratic regimes). Are we witnessing a worldwide convergence or a national divergence? In addition to these contradictory hypotheses of worldwide convergence and national divergence, this paper presents a “cultural repertoire hypothesis” and argues that patterns of civic participation vary greatly by actor because actors’ selection of action forms is dependent upon their familiarity with these forms based on their specific histories of contention. In a word, people cannot perform if they do not know how. This paper evaluates these three hypotheses by conducting a cross-national comparison of the patterns of civic participation using a data set of 10 million events worldwide, reported by Reuters, between 1990 and 2004. This data set includes a great deal of varieties in action forms, not just violence or protests but also conventional forms of political interaction, which provides us with an extraordinary opportunity to compare civic participation patterns across the world. A multilevel multinomial regression analysis will reveal how the participation patterns (conventional, protest, and violent) change by the main variables: (1) globalization index (the worldwide convergence hypothesis), (2) institutional regime characteristics (the national divergence hypothesis), and (3) actors’ familiarity with forms of action (the cultural repertoire hypothesis).