English title: Exploring the Determinants of Civil Participation in 14 European Countries: One-Size-Fits None

Author(s): Massimiliano Mascherini - Daniele Vidoni - Anna Rita Manca -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2010


The article is concerned with understanding what influences individual participation in various kinds of formal organizations and how such explanations differ across various European countries. To this end, we propose an indicator of individual participation distinguishing between individuals who participate in either social or private formal organizations, or both. We seek to show the main patterns existing in EU countries on the basis of data from the European Social Survey cross-national surveys. The model used for the analysis is the Multinomial Logit (mLogit), which compares the probability of membership in the reference category with the probability of membership in other categories (Social, Private, and Full Engagement). The result is that EU countries can be grouped in at least three different clusters, and how participatory habits and factors influencing participation are different among these clusters is revealed. Specifically, substantial differences exist between the countries in the Northern cluster (Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands), which sets the upper bound, and the Mediterranean and Eastern group (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, and Poland), which occupies the lower bound. The other countries are more difficult to classify as they have borderline scores ranging between the two limits, although they are possibly closer to the Northern group. The existence of such strong structural differences impedes the application of one-size-fits-all policies and suggests the need for cooking ad hoc recipes that take on the independent and legitimate role of interpreting social needs and for launching cooperation strategies at a territorial level.

Volume: 27

Issue: 6

From page no: 790

To page no: 807

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/ESR/JCQ041

Journal: European Sociological Review

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