Personal mobilisation, civic norms and political participation

Charles Pattie*, Ron Johnston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Previous analyses of the role of context in political participation have tended to focus on voting, and on electoral context (in particular, the closeness of the local campaign and the marginality of the electoral district). However, neither this form of political engagement nor these measures of context capture the range of possible influences. This paper therefore analyses the role of civic norms and personal mobilisation on participation in a range of different forms of political activity. In general, individuals are responsive both to actual mobilisation and to their perceptions of how others in their acquaintance circles and neighbourhoods are likely to act. The more the local environment encourages participation (whether in the form of more frequent invitations to get involved or of stronger perceived norms for participation), the more likely individuals are to get involved. However, contextual influences on participation are stronger for the less politically motivated than for the more motivated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-189
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Contextual effects
  • Electoral geography
  • Political participation

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