Midterm Conference of the European Political Sociology Research Network (RN32) of ESA (European Sociological Association) edition:3 location:Copenhagen date:28-29 November 2014 ECPR General Conference edition:5 location:Glasgow date:4-5 September 2014
From an instrumental point of view, political efficacy is one of the most important predictors of political participation. The more effective people consider certain forms of action to be, the more likely they are to engage in them. Numerous studies have stressed the role of citizens’ perceptions of the state as a political context to explain (the perceived effectiveness of) political participation, yet in doing so they have mainly focused on perceptions of the state’s willingness to be responsive – i.e., citizens’ external input efficacy. Perceptions of the state’s ability to be responsive – i.e., external output efficacy – are often emphasized from a theoretical point of view, but remain empirically overlooked. The main goal of this paper is to address this gap in the literature by analyzing the link between external output efficacy and different forms of state- and non-state oriented forms of participation. To do so, data are used from the 2014 PARTIREP Belgian election survey (N = 2015). In line with the hypotheses, it is found that high levels of external output efficacy indirectly increase state-oriented political participation, while non-state oriented political participation is unaffected.