Disengagement and Political Trust: Divergent Pathways

Abstract

Is disengagement a reflection of contented apathy or discontented alienation? If a citizen finds their political leaders trustworthy, is the most likely response to let them get on with it and disengage? Or is it that if a citizen lacks trust in politics, they will deem attempting to influence political outcomes pointless and therefore disengage? In short: is disengagement a reflection of contented apathy or discontented alienation? In this chapter, we explore these questions, arguing that the answers depend on whether the disengagement is from mainstream politics or protest politics and whether the political system has in place the citizen protections of a liberal democracy or not.

Publication
Oxford Handbook of Political Participation

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