Gateway or getaway? Testing the link between lifestyle politics and other modes of political participation

Joost de Moor*, Soetkin Verhaegen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Many have depicted a steady rise in lifestyle politics. Individuals are increasingly using everyday life choices about consumption, transportation, or modes of living to address political, environmental, or ethical issues. While celebrated by some as an expansion of political participation, others worry this trend may be detrimental for democracy, for instance, by reducing citizens to consumers. Implicit in this common critique is the notion that lifestyle politics will replace, rather than coexist with or lead to, other forms of political participation. We provide the first detailed longitudinal analysis to test these hypotheses. Using unique panel data from 1538 politically active individuals from the Flemish region of Belgium (2017–18), we demonstrate that over time, lifestyle politics functions as a gateway into institutionalized and non-institutionalized modes of political participation and that this relationship is mediated by individuals’ increased political concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1755773919000377
Pages (from-to)91-111
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Political Science Review
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CITIZENSHIP NORMS
  • CONSUMPTION
  • CULTURE
  • DESIGN
  • GREEN
  • IDENTITY
  • MULTILEVEL ANALYSIS
  • OPPORTUNITY STRUCTURES
  • PANEL
  • crowding out
  • lifestyle politics
  • longitudinal analysis
  • political consumerism
  • political participation

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