This book offers novel insights into the way in which people talk about politics across various countries. Drawing on focus groups research in nine countries, including ‘mature’ democracies, post-communist ‘new’ democracies and post-authoritarian ‘new’ democracies, it offers comparative reflection on how talk about political activity is shaped by peoples’ perceptions of specific opportunities to participate, the issues that concern them and the broader political environment. It thus examines citizens’ views of major issues and political grievances in their own words and helps to shed new light on reasons for engagement in political acts, whether through electoral or protest channels, or political disengagement.

chapter |19 pages


When citizens talk about politics: towards an analytical framework
ByClare Saunders, Bert Klandermans, Stephan Price, Anastasia Garyfallou, Swen Hutter

chapter 1|19 pages

Anti-politics statements in fast-thinking

What comes to mind first when thinking about politics?
ByBert Klandermans, Clare Saunders

chapter 2|20 pages

Discussing politics in the UK

Non-violence, representativeness, consistency, and fairness as constitutional values
ByStephan Price, Clare Saunders

chapter 3|18 pages

Discourse about politics in the Netherlands

Anti-politics and populism, more or less
ByMaarten J. van Bezouw, Bert Klandermans

chapter 4|19 pages

Idle democrats?

Talking about politics in Germany
ByManès Weisskircher, Swen Hutter

chapter 5|19 pages

Convinced direct democrats under strain

Talking about politics in Switzerland
BySwen Hutter, Manès Weisskircher

chapter 6|20 pages

Uprising in the streets and ballots

Polarisation and radicalisation in the Greek crisis
ByAnastasia Garyfallou

chapter 7|18 pages

Reinvigorating Romania’s civil society

Talking about politics and corruption in Romania
ByIoana-Elena Oanǎ

chapter 8|20 pages

In the land of inefficacy

Talking about Hungarian approaches to participation
ByZsolt Enyedi, Gergő Závecz

chapter 9|19 pages

Distance and familiarity in political talk in Argentina

BySebastián Pereyra, Maximiliano Marentes

chapter 10|19 pages

Political education as a problem and solution

Discussing participation in Brazil
ByCamila Penna, Marcelo C. Rosa

chapter 11|19 pages


How citizens talk about electoral and protest politics, a cross-country comparison
ByClare Saunders

chapter |13 pages

Methodological appendix

ByMaarten J. van Bezouw, Anastasia Garyfallou, Ioana-Elena Oană, Sebastien Rojon, Clare Saunders