Participation and Social Capital

Paul Whiteley

in The Oxford Handbook of British Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199230952
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Participation and Social Capital

Show Summary Details


This article investigates the link between social capital and political participation in Britain. It also outlines evidence on political participation in contemporary Britain, as well as changes in participation over time. This is followed by an examination of the thesis that social capital drives political participation. In addition, evidence on the relationship between social capital and political participation from the 2005 British Election Study is explored. The article then describes the findings and their implications for civic engagement in contemporary Britain. A long-term decline in electoral participation in Britain has been taking place, something which has been happening in other advanced industrial democracies as well. Increasingly citizens are instrumental in their approach to participation, and they will get involved if this furthers their interests, and they avoid involvement when it does not.

Keywords: social capital; political participation; Britain; 2005 British Election Study; electoral participation

Article.  9264 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; UK Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.