New books


Arbetslöshet, arbetsplatsdemokrati och politiskt deltagande

Per Adman

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 considered.