Citizen Engagement

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In any government, citizens are involved in one or another way. Citizen engagement can be individual or in a group, focusing on humanitarian issues at any level related to its participation (directly or indirectly) in the development, adoption, and implementation of policy decisions or courses. Crowdholding wants you to understand what active citizen engagement is about and how it can be useful for you. 

Citizen Engagement should meet the following conditions:

  • There must be a specific political act, including verbal expression;
     
  • Participation, with rare exceptions, should be voluntary;
     
  • Engagement should not be of fictitious nature in the presence of a real choice or an alternative.
     

Government alone are not responsible for the development of any nation or society. Engagement of the public in governmental issues is an essential part of running a fruitful and efficient society. 

Types of citizen engagement:

  • Legitimate (elections, rallies, and demonstrations coordinated with the authorities, etc.) and illegitimate (civil disobedience, terrorism, insurrection, coup);
     
  • Institutionalized (voting, participation in party activities) and non-institutionalized (mass unrest, unrecognized groups with political goals, etc.);
     
  • Local (involving citizens in solving local problems) and nationwide (participation nationwide).
     

The political regime has a significant influence on the type of citizen engagement. For democratic countries, autonomous political participation is characteristic. It is based on voluntary actions and goal-oriented motivation, which is supported by developed ideas about politics. Under the totalitarian regime, mobilized participation takes place, symbolically involving the masses in political actions that imitate public support. It is achieved through manipulation or non-political motivation through coercion, violence, fear, economic and other sanctions.

Types of political participation can be direct, expressed by the direct actions of the individual, and indirect, involving citizens in politics through the activities of various groups, organizations, structures.

 

There are different levels of political activity of the individual:

1) A citizen with little political influence and activity. He lacks a steady interest in politics (sometimes it comes to anti-politically). In this case, the person can only be an object of politics.

2) A citizen is a member of a public organization ( a group of interests) or a participant in the social movement. Inclusion in politics here is mediated by an organization.

3) A citizen is a member of a political organization (party, political union, etc.). Personality voluntarily and purposefully engaged in politics. This is a type of political activist.

4) Social and political figure. Writers, scientists, and artists because of their popularity are drawn into official politics as its adherents or opponents.

5) Professional politician. For such a person, politics is the main and only activity outside of which she does not represent herself.

6) Political leader, i.e. Organizational, ideological, formal (informal) leader.

Among the forms of political activity in democratic countries, electoral behavior takes a special place. The voters' preferences are influenced by a number of factors: gender, age, social origin, confession, socialization, etc.

Recently, protests as citizen engagement have acquired special significance. Political protests are an open demonstration of a negative attitude towards the political system as a whole, its individual elements, norms, values, and decisions. It happens:

  • Conventional (legal) - rallies, demonstrations, strikes, pickets, marches, etc .;
     
  • Unconventional (illegal) - demonstrations, rallies, illegal underground political parties, political terrorism (killing politicians, kidnappings, threats, blackmail, explosions, taking hostages, buildings and organizations, provoking armed clashes, etc.) unauthorized by the authorities. ).
     

Most often, political protest takes place where there are ineffective strategies and technologies for exercising power. The subject has a state of discontent as a result of the discrepancy between the real (or estimated) and the expected state, which is called deprivation. When such discrepancy becomes excessive, the subject becomes motivated to participate in protest actions. In other words, the level of dissatisfaction affects the predisposition to participate in protest activities of citizen engagement.

Most citizens do not have a real opportunity for permanent participation in politics. In addition, politics for many is not intrinsically attractive. For such people, politics is the sphere of ejection of negative emotions, social overexcitation, personality crisis, which provokes illegitimate forms of behavior (terrorism, corruption, etc.). They can evade participation in political life, lose interest in politics. This phenomenon is called absenteeism.

One can single out the following factors that determine the individual's refusal to engage in political activity:

  • Personal success in another area
     
  • Feeling of incompleteness
     
  • Lack of confidence and being shy
     
  • Misalignment with social groups
     
  • Socially-political factors 
     

The growth of protests & absenteeism is an evidence of the crisis of the political system, its norms and values. Be an active citizen and collaborate with crowdholding.com to build a better tomorrow. 

We are interested in your opinion and feedback regarding the crowdholding concept. Get in touch through our website or email us at hello@crowdholding.com Learn more about Crowdholding in 1 minute by watching our Youtube video. 



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