Monday, March 11, 2019

Comparative analysis of political participation Essay

The change in political society is before long a hotly discussed topic. Low turn aside(a)s in the 2001 and 2005 UK general elections, along with go membership of political breakies have led political organisations to discover the reasons for this (BBC, 2006). integrity method is to use relative summary. This is about comparing aspects of countries political systems (Dobson, 2005, p.140) to kick the bucket a line to understand wherefore a phenomenon occurs in one country or time period exactly not in another. This essay looks at ii factors, which evidence suggests affect political participation gender and socio-economic standing. It examines whether comparative outline is a useful tool for disciplineing this topic. It concludes that whilst comparative politics is helpful at identifying participation trends, it is too simplistic to provide possible(a) answers and that further studies atomic number 18 required to reveal useful outcomes.Historically, conventional wa ys for citizens to participate in politics were by voting in elections and joining a political party. The decline in these activities has led some to conceive at that place is political apathy in Britain. However Helena Kennedy (cited by White, 2006, p.4), chair of the Commission which proved the Power to the heap report (2006) denies this, saying that disdain no longer wanting to join a party or get involved in formal politics, people instead take localise action by raising money for charities, joining protest marches, write petitions and undertaking volunteering work within their communities. The opening night for differing definitions of key outcomes is a injury for comparative analysis.A study that defines participation in terms ofttimes(prenominal) as voting or contacting politicians go forth conclude that political participation has decreased and supports the political apathy theory, whereas, a study such as the Citizen Audit (2001), victimization unorthodox defin itions, such as membership of political organisations ( any(prenominal)thing from trade unions to community groups) or financially supporting activist organisations, specify that participation is still strong. The Citizen Audit found that approximately 40 per centime of adults belong to at least one political organisation (Smith, 2005, p.83)and there is little evidence of widespread apathy (Smith, 2005, p.84). When trying to create policies to gain political participation, these conflicting results are unhelpful.Following a 2002 European inwardness directive, which required member states to promote equality in relation to internal orientation, age and religion in addition to race, gender and disability (Squires, 2005, p.119), European governments began to initiate changes to the way women were represented within parliament. Governments did not unavoidably engage the same(p) initiatives and comparative analysis is useful to identify quickly the comparative success of each gove rnments initiatives. (See t subject 1, Appendix).Political systems are hugely complex and as Dobson states Each day closely of us find ourselves describing, explaining and predicting something. Comparative politics is no more than, then, than carrying out these patently basic human activities in the context of what we are calling political worlds (Dobson, 2005, p.143). comparability what happens in different countries or different political systems enables the analysis of differences and similarities and thereby, identifying factors that send packing be applied generally to simplify complex systems. For physical exertion Table 1 shows that Nordic countries have signifi targettly higher(prenominal) levels of female participation in simile to the UK.A policy coercer, looking to amplification participation by UK women, can then look at wherefore there is such a large disparity between the two countries and whether there is something the UK could learn from Nordic policy. Th is illustrates another advantage of comparative study it gives opportunity to expand ones knowledge of political worlds. For comparison there must be at least two things to comparing which must be evidently different. In political comparison, this is often two different countries and even if one is ones own, the other will not be and if we assume that knowledge of others is a prerequisite for determination our way around, and managing, a globalizing world, then comparative politics seems to be of increase practical importance (Dobson, 2005, p.143).Expanding ones knowledge is generally promising and simplifying complexinformation is usually advantageous although over simplification is a assay. Table 2 shows the same information as table 1 but for the elections that were held closest to the time of the aforementioned EU directive. Figure 1 shows the percentage point difference between both elections. Using this information, that same policy maker may feel that focussing on Frances policies would be of much greater value than that of the Nordic countries as, in however 10 years, France has almost doubled the amount of women who hold parliamentary seats.Comparing and ranking countries can be useful but, as illustrated here, it is only part of a story and great care must be interpreted when interpreting comparative data. Oversimplification is a distinct risk of comparative analysis. It is possible to mitigate the risk by undertaking more study, producing more data and a more sophisticated and detailed analysis to transport forecasting or policy change. It is important that one considers this potential expiration when working with conclusions drawn from comparative analysis.In 2005 the Electoral Commission produced a research report, Social Exclusion and Political Engagement. Its aim was to explore why those experiencing brotherly disadvantage tend to also be the most politically excluded in society. (Electoral Commission, 2005) Looking at the aim of this r eport highlights an advantage of using comparative politics but also a disadvantage. The advantage is that it allows interrogation of hypotheses in this case, those who experience social disadvantage are more believably to be politically excluded. By comparing different circumstances, one can find out what factors affect the political situation in a country, giving an idea as to what particular social/financial or other conditions might give rise to say, reform or renewing in the future. The contingency to predict outcomes is especially important for politicians the possibility of discriminating that under certain social conditions, policy X will produce outcome Y (Dobson, 2005, p.144) allows them to make informed policy decisions.The disadvantage is that in research, subjectivity and objectivity can sometimes be lost. Baxter, (cited by Dobson, 2005, p.146) points out Research is not a wholly objective activity carried out by detached scientists. It is a social activity powerfu lly touched by the researchersown motivations and values. In this case, the researcher(s) has(ve) already taken on the axiom that those with social disadvantages are politically excluded. This does not necessarily mean that conclusions drawn by social scientists are useless it further means that it is important that anyone working with these conclusions is aware that they might be dirty by their comparative scientists own motivations and values (Dobson, 2005, p.154).The report drew together much information on the subject and found that the working conformation (C2DEs) were 21 percentage points less potential to vote than the middle class (ABC1), 60% to 41%. It also found ABC1s twice as likely as C2DEs to take advantage of the opportunity to contact their elected representatives two-thirds of those who present their views to their councillors or MPs are ABC1s Political activism is higher among ABC1s than C2DEs (23% as compared to 7%). across a range of different activities which could still be defined as political, there is a correlation with class and income those in the last(a) social class, the poorest in society and the less educated were less likely to be politically active than those who are in a higher social class (Electoral Commission, 2005, p.9).This gives a lot of interesting information and seems to make it clear that there is a correlation between social class and political participation but then it could be argued that it does not very say anything useful. It illustrates a difference but it does not give any reason for this difference. It does not give any principles that one could draw from the comparisons to enable one to make wider or more generalised conclusions about what would change magnitude the gap. Anyone using the data runs the risk of putting their own interpretation on the results, as stated by Lewis (cited in Dobson, 2005, p.157) the development of the comparatives tools seems to involve the interpretation of political reali ty rather than its simple and problem-free observation. The other bar with this is that people interpret things in different ways and one souls interpretation of these results might not be anothers. This runs the risk of further confusion rather than clarifying issues.To conclude, Dobson asks Whether, despite their peculiarities, we can buildtheories for comparing political worlds that will enable us to suggest general truths about them. Or are we only ever able to tell stories about them stories rich in specific detail but devoid of generalizable truths? (Dobson, 2005, p.140). Comparative analysis is a key tool in identifying trends in participation. It also allows for the testing of hypothesis and for simplification of complicated data, with the possibility of expanding ones knowledge all notable advantages. However, the disadvantages of contamination and misinterpretation along with the possibility for over simplification reveal crucial limitations, meaning that comparative a nalysis offers little in the way of definitive predictions about or practical answers which could influence political participation.ReferencesBBC, 2006. Political system faces meltdown. BBC UK Politics. Available at http//news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4753876.stm Accessed 3 December, 2014.Electoral Commission, 2005. Available at http//www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/63835/Social-exclusion-and-political-engagement.pdf Accessed 4 December, 2014.Dobson, A., Story telling and theory building comparing political worlds. In Lewis, P ed. 2005. Exploring Political Worlds. Milton Keynes, The Open UniversitySmith, M., Taking part in politics. In Lewis, P ed. 2005. Exploring Political Worlds. Milton Keynes, The Open UniversitySquires, J., Common citizenship and plural identities the politics of social difference. In Lewis, P ed. 2005. Exploring Political Worlds. Milton Keynes, The Open UniversityWhite, I., Power Inquiry, 2006. Power to the People the report of Powe r, an Independent Inquiry into Britains Democracy. commons Library bill Note, Power to the People the report of Power, an Independent Inquiry into Britains Democracy. Commons Library Standard Note. Available at http//www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN03948/power-to-the-people-the-report-of-power-an-independent-inquiry-into-britains-democracy Accessed 3 December, 2014.Whiteley, P.F., Pattie, C. and Seyd, P., Citizen Audit of prominent Britain, 2000-2001 computer file. Colchester, Essex UK Data Archive distributor, March 2005. SN 5099, http//dx.doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-5099-1

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