Political Participation and Protest


Course Objective

This course is designed to introduce students to the various issues
concerning the forms, causes and content of political participation (and
non-participation) in contemporary mature and less advanced democracies.

Learning objectives

Knowledge and Undertanding. The student has acquired knowledge and
understanding of:
(1) the theories of and empirical research into patterns of electoral
participation, protest, radical/extremist behaviour and
(2) the challenges of contemporary developments - such as globalization,
migration, individualization, austerity policies and democratization -
on the degree and contents of political participation in various

Application. The student has acquired the competences to:
(3) relate these theories and empirical research to theories of social
structures and groups, the degree and patterns of political
participation in contemporary democracies, and the differences between
societies thereof;

Making judgements. The student is able to:
(4) take a critical stance in contemporary debates over political
(non)participation, protest and radicalism;
(5) critically reflect on the question whether current advanced and less
advanced democracies experience a legitimacy crisis.

Course Content

Countries in the world differ in their levels and the types of political
participation. Western democracies offer their citizens a whole variety
of opportunities to express their preferences to political power
holders, ranging from electoral political participation like voting,
party or association membership, contacting political actors etc. to
non-electoral participation, most often protest behavior, such as
demonstrating, petitioning, striking, boycotting but also more radical
activities. In less advanced democracies and democratizing countries,
some types of political participation might be less effective (e.g.
voting) or risky (e.g. protesting), so citizens tend to embark in the
action that best fits the political context. We will analyze the
intended and unintended ways in which contemporary developments affect
the degree, forms and contents of political (non-)participation in the
different contexts. Attention will be paid to both electoral political
participation (voting), as well as non-electoral political participation
(protest), radicalization and extremism.

Teaching Methods


Method of Assessment

Final exam


To be announced in the course manual (see CANVAS).

Target Audience

2nd year bachelorstudents in Sociology; 2nd year bachelorstudents in
Political Science (track Global Politics).
Open as an elective course for Exchange students and FSW-students.

General Information

Course Code S_PPP
Credits 6 EC
Period P5
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator prof. dr. J. van Stekelenburg
Examiner prof. dr. J. van Stekelenburg
Teaching Staff dr. A.P.M. Krouwel
prof. dr. J. van Stekelenburg
S. Trovato

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: