A range of contemporary European societies have witnessed a decline in formal political participation. In many countries, turnout at elections, and membership of political parties and trade unions is in decline. Yet there seem to be counter trends, with an increase in activist political participation (marches and demonstrations). In this chapter we will examine these developments to assess how citizens in contemporary Europe express themselves politically, and investigate whether declining engagement with formal politics should be seen as a problem for citizenship. To a large extent, the answer to this question depends upon how one views citizenship theoretically.
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