OECD Working Papers on Public Governance

Selected studies on public governance policy prepared for use within the OECD. These papers address such issues as pensions, ageing, management, pay and decentralistion in the public sector.


Political efficacy and participation

An empirical analysis in European countries

The active participation of citizens is the lifeblood of any functioning democracy. But what drives people’s willingness to participate in political life? A key driver is their self-perception of their ability to understand political processes and to influence change through their action. These attitudes also determine people’s level of trust in government, making it a cornerstone of research and work on trust. In a context of increasing concerns regarding democratic legitimacy and decreasing levels of political participation, this paper aims to analyse empirically to what extent people’s attitudes towards their ability to influence and engage in political life – or their “political efficacy” - affect their political behaviour, including different forms of participation. A better understanding of political attitudes can help governments anticipate democratic deficits and develop strategies to improve political efficacy and promote participation.


Keywords: trust, democracy, civic participation, political participation, pubilc participation
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error