The meaning of political participation for individuals

Why do people want to be engaged?

menschenmenge2The question why people vote is still one of the most contested topics in debates about political culture. What motivates people to take part in such classic forms of political participation is not easy to explain, as related attitudes of various groups of people differ substantially. If we extend the question and ask why some people do not participate at all, others do not vote, but take part in others forms of participation and many do both, we quickly understand the complexity of the topic. At the centre of these investigations are questions about the accessibility and possible barriers to participation as well as inquiries about the perceived self-efficacy and impact on the political process by citizens.

Qualitative exploration of motivations and barriers

To approach these issues, d|part initiates research projects about the meaning of political participation for individuals. They are investigated through qualitative exploration in which methods such as in-depth interviews, focus groups and workshops for mutual reflection can be employed. The methodological approach does not only enable us to research individual motivations without presupposed assumptions, but also allows participants and researchers to reflect on the work in order to develop multiplier effects from the research to practice.