Unconventional Political Participation: An Overview

  • Ilaria Pitti


Engaging in an analysis of unconventional political youth participation in contemporary society requires a preliminary conceptual effort to clarify the basic concepts of “political participation” and of “unconventionality”. In this perspective, this chapter specifies the thematic focus of the present analysis by providing a definition of political participation and by exploring the different ways in which the concept of “unconventional political participation” is currently understood in literature. In so doing, the chapter intends to show how existing definitions of unconventional political participation swing between “purist” positions (unable to account for the contemporary phenomenology of youth non-conventional participation) and “vague” definitions (where the label “unconventional” is applied to almost every youth political action beyond voting). Reflecting on the limits of the traditional ways through which the unconventional nature of a participatory act has been defined (innovative, heterodox, non-institutionalised practices, and protest behaviours), the chapter discusses the need for a conceptual actualisation of the definition of unconventional political participation.


Unconventional political participation Political behaviours Protest Unconventionality Non-institutionalised participation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilaria Pitti
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Humanities, Education and Social SciencesÖrebro UniversityÖrebroSweden

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