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Two Concepts of Political Participation

Lawrence A. Scaff
The Western Political Quarterly
Vol. 28, No. 3 (Sep., 1975), pp. 447-462
DOI: 10.2307/447366
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/447366
Page Count: 16
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Two Concepts of Political Participation
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Abstract

Participation is a widely discussed feature of political life, but it has received little attention as a conceptual problem. This paper initiates investigation of the concept of political participation. Using evidence from the history and language of political theory, it explicates and defends a conceptual distinction between participation as "instrumental action" and as "interaction." This distinction is elaborated in terms of different value-orientations, and different types, ends, and functions of political action. Some of the important theoretical and practical consequences of the proposed conceptual distinction are then clarified.

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