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Counting at the Local Level

  • Jan W. van Deth
  • William A. Maloney
Chapter
  • 175 Downloads
Part of the Interest Groups, Advocacy and Democracy Series book series (IGAD)

Abstract

As argued by Schlozman in Chapter 2 (see also Mohan, Chapter 10), one reason for trying to get a sense of scale of local organizations is that the democratic learning that is assumed to take place in groups is central to many arguments in the literature – most notably, the neo-Tocquevillean ‘schools of democracy’ thesis. The democratic lessons that take place within groups are most likely to occur in local organizations that offer opportunities for face-to-face interaction, rather than through ‘pocket book participation’ in national ‘mail-order’ bodies. This chapter reports the experience of conducting research on civic and political organizations active at the local level. It discusses the intellectual and logistical problems involved in researching the local and informal end of the organizational spectrum. The chapter describes an international collaborative project – Citizen, Involvement, Democracy (CID)1 – to investigate local organizations and citizens’ involvement in these associations using a top-down research approach.

Keywords

Social Capital Civil Society Political Participation Political Orientation Political Organization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Jan W. van Deth and William A. Maloney 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan W. van Deth
  • William A. Maloney

There are no affiliations available

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