Political Participation

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  • Activities of a state's citizenry aimed at influencing politics. Forms of political participation include voting, protesting, membership in political organizations, running for political office, or working on a political campaign. The freedom of all citizens to be politically active is an essential hallmark of a democracy. This concept traces back to the Ancient Greek philosophers, such as Aristotle, who wrote in the Politics (350 BCE) about the dual nature of eleutheria (liberty): the freedom to politically participate, “being ruled and ruling in turn,” and the freedom to “live as you like.” In contrast, political participation is outlawed under an authoritative regime, in which voting is restricted and strict adherence to government views is required.

    In the United States, the majority of Americans participate in voting, ...

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