Äärmuslikud vaated vasak-parem skaalal ja poliitiline osalemine Euroopa Sotsiaaluuringu küsitluse põhjal



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The aim of the analysis „Political Participation and Placement on Left-Right Scale based on European Social Survey Data“ is to describe the relation between political participation and political views on left-right scale. Socio-economical variables are also added to demonstrate their influence on the previously mentioned relation. Political participation is often understood and analyzed in terms of voting behavior. In this paper broader definition of participation is used. Political participation is an attempt of an individual or a group to influence the process of political decision-making. Taken from the European Social Survey 2011, three possibilities of political participation are considered: singing petition, participating lawful public demonstration and working in another organization. To view political views of individuals, their self-placement on left-right scale is used. At the beginning of this paper I constructed an argument based on theories of Robert E. Lane, David O. Sears and Giovanni Sartori about extreme views and political participation. I claim that people with extreme views tend to be politically more active than people with moderate political views. This claim did not get asserted in this paper. It came out that only people with left-extreme views are politically more active than moderates and right-wing extremists in general are not. The only exception occurred in working in another organization where in some cases there were more active participants among right-wing extremists than among people with moderate views. Higher level of education influenced participation as theory suggested. Participation level was higher among people with 15 years and more education than people with less education. Influence was similar inside all political viewgroups: left-wing extremist, moderates and right-wing extremists as well. Theory also suggests that people with higher level of household income participate more. It also got confirmed as participation rates gradually rise when family income increases. When considering the age of the most active participation, it should be middle age, somewhere between forties and fifties. Current analysis confirms that and shows that people who participate are on an average younger than people who have not participated in last 12 months in specific form of political participation. When looking data about states separately, the main trend is that citizens of European Union old memberstates participate more than people from new memberstates. In addition, in countries where the participation rates are high in general, participation rates of left-wing extremists are extremely high. On the other hand when looking into an example of working in other organizations, participation rate among people who consider themselves right-wing extremists is quite high when compared to signing petitions and attending demonstrations.