Guest Editors: Francesca Vassallo, University of Southern Maine, email:; Vincenzo Memoli, University of Catania, email:


Research on political participation is often linked to the quality of democratic activism. Most European countries have been officially democracies for a long time, but some of them fail to show a high level of popular participation in their democratic systems. Citizens’ participation in politics has been a central idea in research on political systems, liberal democracies in particular, since the 1960s (Campbell 1960; Almond and Verba 1963; Verba et al., 1978). The relatively recent and surprising decline of political activism in industrialized democracies (Wattenberg 1998) highlights a pattern that includes both conventional and unconventional forms of political engagement (Dalton 2014).

In these recent crisis-stricken times, economic instability in Europe has had a wide variety of effects on political behavior. The overall lack of success of many of the financial interventions and the ongoing disagreement between citizens and governments over the choices made ​​has sparked an increased commitment to political activism. The global financial meltdown has caused a deep fracture in European societies: the severity of the economic crisis is an opportunity for an empirical assessment of political unconventionality in. Does the economic crisis affect political participation? How has the economic collapse changed the way citizens participate in the political arena? This special issue is an opportunity to empirically test how strong political participation on the European continent is. This call welcomes papers on political involvement in many forms, both conventional (eg, elections) and unconventional (for example, the different forms of protest) in one or more European countries.

The preferred methodological approach to the issue should be both comparative and diachronic. In this view, it would be possible to shed light on areas where political participation has declined or increased, as well as estimate how it has changed with respect to the period prior to the European economic crisis. The issue can also include case studies tracking the trajectory of political participation over time, or works adopting a synchronic approach, while distinguishing the levels of political participation among the different areas of the EU.

- Submission of long abstracts (about 1,000 words): 30th May 2015

- Selection of long abstracts: 15th June 2015

- Submission of articles: 15th September 2015