Measures of political activity

How can we measure political activity in a nation?

There are three ways we can measure political activity:

  1. Discussing politics with other people
  2. Trying to convince others to vote for a party or candidate during an election campaign
  3. Working for a party or candidate during elections


  • Nearly 90% of the American public reports discussing politics at least some of the time. Compares to an average of only 68% across the 11 European nations.
  • 30% of the American citizens report having worked during a campaign at some time. More than double the average for seven European nations in which this question was asked.
  • In reporting trying to convince others during elections campaigns, the Americans trail only the west Germans with 40% affirming such activity, in comparison to an average of 27% in seven other countries.

Therefore, we can conclude that the average American public attitudes are directly associated with political participation.

Powell, G. American Voter Turnout in Comparative Perspective. The American Political Science Review, 80(1), 17-43. doi:10.2307/1957082


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