Uppsala, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Univ.-bibl. [distributör], 2004 171 s. ISBN 91-554-5835-1
Bogomtale fra forlaget.
The purpose of this thesis is to test two
hypotheses about how work affects political participation. The first concerns
unemployment, and states that unemployment has strong and negative effects on
political activity. The second hypothesis is found in theories of participatory
democracy, and claims that more democratic workplaces lead to more political
participation. Existing empirical evidence on both of the hypotheses is not
conclusive. Furthermore, studies have mainly been carried out using data
collected in the United States. Here empirical tests of the hypotheses are
undertaken using a Swedish survey.
The results confirm the first hypothesis; unemployment has negative effects
on political participation. The reasons for these negative effects are that the
unemployed become less active in organisational life, fall outside of the
recruitment networks where people are being asked to participate in politics,
and experience a decrease in income. The second hypothesis is not supported.
Workplace participation does not affect political participation, according to
the analyses. The results are surprising for both hypotheses, and contradict
previous empirical findings. The differences in results are likely due to
differences in research design and differences in approaches to analysing
political participation. Previous studies are inadequate in these perspectives,
it is maintained.
The thesis ends with a discussion of the results from the perspective of
normative democratic theory. It is argued that the lack of political equality is
particularly acute when the low participation among the unemployed is